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  • Writer's pictureConnect Magazine PWN Vienna

Practical tips to become a great mentor

To be a mentor has many advantages. Mentors have the possibiliy to develop their leadership skills. They have to encourage action, commitment and motivation. They have the chance to reflect on their own practice and will receive feedback in various ways.

The new mentoring handbook with lots of practical advice for mentors and mentees has just been launched. Request a free copy at

Here are practical tips to be successful as a mentor:

  1. Approach your mentee with compassion, listen actively to her and ask questions

  2. Feedback & Motivation: support your mentee to see and use her strengths and skills.

  3. Share your experiences and warn of possible challenges. But be aware, that what was good for you, might not be good for your mentee.

  4. Show sympathy in case the mentee faces challenges.

  5. Exercise difficult situations in role playing (e.g. job interview).

  6. Provide constructive feedback at eye level. At least half of the time shall be designed by the mentee.

  7. Take time to really get to know your mentee. Solid mutual trust helps to create a good relationship.

  8. In case of any difficulties in the mentoring relationsip discuss them openly with your mentee and/or inform the mentoring coordinators to discuss the further proceeding.

  9. Encourage your mentee to take over personal responibility.

  10. Be patient. Meentees do not want to share problems immediately or might not even know them themselves.

  11. Facilitate the increase of your mentee's professional network.

  12. Help your mentee to see all the possibilities she has.

Don'ts for Mentors

  • Do not judge the ideas of your mentees but try to help her see all the pros and cons of it and let her make the decision on her own.

  • Do not only rely on your mentee to keep the relationsship alive.

  • Do not share confidential information with a third person without consent of the mentee.

  • Do not pressure yourself or your mentee.

  • It is not your task to actually find a job (or solve other problems) for your mentee.

A Mentor is not a Wunderwuzzi

Mentors do not know it all! They might have a bad day or need more information on the situation of the mentee. It is important that mentee and mentor get to know each other and share openly what they bring into the mentoring relationship.

If you like to find out more about the PWN Vienna Mentoring Program please check out or contact the mentoring coordinators via email at

Source: PWN Vienna Mentoring Handbook 2018/19

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