Dealing With Possible Mentoring Problems
In some mentoring relationships, things do not go exactly as
planned or expected. Try to remedy problems as soon as
It is not realistic to expect every mentor and mentee to
instantaneously bond and become very close. If you do not feel
comfortable discussing some issues with your mentor, try to focus
on what you can learn from that person and look for other
informal mentors for other needs.
*For S.T.E.P. 1:1 participants
: If you try and still feel you are getting nothing from the
relationship, let the program administrator know.
Unrealistic Expectations for Mentors or Mentees
Occasionally, mentors expect too much from mentees; both
parties need to realize that the other person is busy and be
appreciative of whatever they get from the relationship. You
should not expect your mentor to "make your career" or give you
all the answers. Mentors are one source of advice and
encouragement; no one should rely on one person for
Lack of Commitment
If your mentor seems unresponsive for a long period of time,
send another email assuming he/she is just busy. If you still
don't get a response, then write or call again, asking if
something is wrong.
*For S.T.E.P. 1:1 participants:
Notify the program administrator if you are unable to get any
response. Although everyone is committed at the start of the
program, unexpected events can occur that cause someone to
withdraw from the program.
Jealousy on the Part of Others
Occasionally, someone else (another student or
someone you work with) may hear about the great things a mentee
is getting from their mentoring experience. We encourage you to
share whatever you are discussing with your mentee/mentor; this
will reduce jealousy and increase the sharing.
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