PMI Orange County



Mentoring Benefits for the Mentor

  • Give back to the profession.
  • Receive assistance, guidance, and coaching on becoming an emerging professional.
  • Gain valuable project management knowledge and skills maximizing a mentee’s potential.
  • Strengthen knowledge base and improved communication skill.
  • Promote greater collegiality among project management professionals.
  • Build deeper relationships with other PMI-OC members.
  • Expand professional and social networks.

Successful Characteristics and Qualities of a Good Mentor

  • Experience. A mentor needs experience in what he or she is teaching. Otherwise, it’s all theory.
  • Character. A mentor should have admirable qualities such as honesty and integrity. That ensures that positive qualities are sustained through generations of leadership.
  • Similar Goals. It is more efficient to learn from someone who has the same goals and can steer a mentee through the inevitable “rough spots” that occur on the path to success.
  • Open Mind. An open mind on the part of the mentor allows the mentee to progress at a more natural pace.
  • Caring Attitude. A mentor should care as much about the mentee’s success as the mentee does.
  • Optimism. Positivity produces positive results.
  • Belief. A mentor who believes in a mentee is always more effective.
  • Honesty. A mentor who is honest gains the trust of the mentee. This produces faster development.
  • Encourage and demonstrate confidence in your mentee.
  • Recognize your mentee as an individual with a private life and value him/ her has a person.
  • Ensure a positive and supportive professional environment for your mentee.
  • Don’t deny your own ignorance.
  • Be liberal with feedback.
  • Encourage independent behavior but be willing to invest ample time in your mentee.
  • Provide accessibility and exposure for your mentee within your own professional circle both within and outside of the immediate university circle.
  • Illustrate the methodology and importance of ‘networking’ in basic science.
  • Allow your mentee to assist you with projects, papers and research whenever possible and be generous with credit.

Questions for the Mentor: Establishing & Clarifying Goals

  • What do you want the mentee to be able to do or know?
  • What are your (perceived and actual) responsibilities to your mentee?
  • What is your own work style like? What is your mentee’s preferred work style?
  • What kinds of decisions do you expect your mentee to make on his or her own? What kinds of decisions do you expect to be involved in?
  • What kinds of opportunities can you provide your mentee that will help him or her acquire important skills / knowledge? Who else do you know who may be a good resource?
  • How do you want your mentee to communicate with you? When is email appropriate? When is it necessary / important to meet face to face? Where is the best place for you to meet your mentor?
  • What kind of feedback should your mentee expect from you? How often will you provide feedback? What is your turnaround time for providing feedback?
  • How will you know if the relationship is working / productive? How will the two of you gauge satisfaction and productivity?
  • How do you anticipate your relationship changing over time?


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