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The key to a successful mentoring relationship is being a great mentee. By this I mean, being able to ask for help, weigh up the advice you are given and decide for yourself whether to take it or not. When you enter a mentoring relationship you are inviting someone to offer you advice, support and guidance, you are not asking someone else to run your career or make decisions for you. It is a delicate balance seeking advice and then being confident to make your own decisions. Remember it’s your career and you need to own it.

Having said this engaging with someone who has more experience and knowledge is a great way to accelerate your own career. Having the benefit of someone else’s experience can help you advance more quickly and avoid some of the career pitfalls that other people may fall into. The best mentees are:

• Open to other people’s experiences and knowledge

• Happy to talk about what they are finding challenging, want to explore, or are seeking advice about

• Able to listen and question their mentor so that they fully understand the advice and the similarity or differences between their position and their mentors experience

• Ready to take feedback which can be both supportive and challenging and in return able to give feedback to their mentor about what is working well and less well for them in this relationship, and

• Know that ultimately they must decide for themselves. These skills and attributes are developed throughout a mentoring relationship and they are important life skills too. If you can master these you will be able to manage people in due course and lead practices. If you struggle with feedback and get defensive, or find it hard to accept that you’ve made a mistake or that you’re not perfect you may find it challenging to be mentored. Ironically, an effective mentoring relationship can help you overcome these behaviours and support you in achieving your career ambitions.

For more information contact Christina Youell on 07976968881 or email