Standing alongside

The standing alongside stage is an important stage in which the mentor and mentee have established rapport and trust and are able to work towards agreed goals. Standing alongside reminds mentors that the mentee's goals are not their own. Mentors should provide encouragement to affirm goals or review goals when not achieved as planned. Standing alongside is an excellent opportunity for the mentor to support the mentee in building confidence and motivation. When working to build confidence, mentors should try:

  • Continually reviewing the progress which will give the mentee personal insight.
  • Evaluating the progress in an open dialogue in order to have the mentee see her own control.
  • Reflect on gender and other life circumstances to demonstrate the impact on the mentee.
  • Ask the mentee for permission when advocating on her behalf.
  • Demonstrate commitment and interest in the mentee.
  • Praise the mentee.

The fostering of the mentee's individual needs should be ongoing, alongside evaluation and reviewing of progress. This can have the greatest influence on positive change within mentoring relationship by helping the mentee towards personal insight and feeling in control of her own development. This also prepares them for moving on and no longer needing mentor support.

“Ask your mentor for their advice and their honesty. It is like having a friend who wants the best for you and doesn’t want to see you fail. Trust their advice.”
“Let the mentee make decisions and respect her when she changes her mind. The decision can even be what room to sit in, which way to take to the appointment, or how to contact someone."