The best mentorships are more akin to a parent-adult child relationship than a boss-employee relationship. Mutual respect, trust, shared ideals, and good communication characterises them, and they reach their pinnacle in the mentee's transition to mentor. We've also discovered dysfunctional mentorships have a lot in common across fields - the dark side of mentoring, which we'll discuss later.
Given the importance of mentoring, there is surprisingly little information available on becoming a successful mentor in India. This is likely even more true outside of academic medicine, where the road from professional to senior executive involves more than individual accomplishment – whether in banking, consulting, or technology. We've put together an informal set of mentorship principles — a playbook if you will — for a game that is very much a team sport. While many of our examples come from academic medicine, the lessons apply to all fields.
Be sure while choosing your Mentees.
Mentorship takes time to be effective. Mentors in India give up time to spend pursuing their own career goals to help others achieve theirs. While having an active, personable junior partner for various initiatives is appealing, selecting the incorrect mentee may be terrible.
Watch out for the hesitant applicant who wants the mentor to maintain the relationship or the candidate who insists on doing things their way. A mentee should be interested, well-organised, efficient, responsible, and enthusiastic. Testing potential mentees are one approach to check for these characteristics.
Build your Mentorship team
The personal, one-on-one contact between mentor and mentee, which had long been the norm, was ideal for a time when both sides were committed to a single institution or cause. That period has passed. Business and academic professionals are incredibly nomadic, travelling from one project or institution to the next. Furthermore, both teachers and managers are under constant and increasing time constraints. As a result, most mentors now share responsibility for a mentee's development with others.
No malpractices in Mentorship Because online mentors are in the dominant position in the relationship, it's easy for them to abuse their influence - even if they don't realise it. Both parties' careers suffer from such "mentorship malpractice," as we called it. Ask yourself if you're guilty of any of these actions the next time you glance in the mirror professionally — and if you are, stop immediately.