From chemistry to shared values, new research reveals the secrets to an effective mentoring relationship.
According to Dr Sharon Straus of the University of Toronto, who studied mentors and mentees at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine and the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine in 2012, the following factors are necessary for a succesful mentoring relationship:
1. Chemistry: A personal connection is necessary for the mentoring interaction. Participants said they wouldn’t feel comfortable discussing issues with a mentor if there was no chemistry.
2. Clear expectations: Discussing goals and responsibilities from the outset, preferably at the first meeting, is very important. Points for discussion should include time commitments, accountability and intellectual property.
3. Mutual respect: Mentors and mentees should respect each other's time, effort and qualifications.
4. Mutual reward: Mentoring should be a two-way relationship that incorporates means to make the relationship mutually rewarding.
5. Shared values: Mentors and mentees should share interests and values to establish common ground.