Mentor Matches Don't Always Work OutDecember 12, 2016
Your seventh and final step to getting mentors and mentees to make time for mentoring focuses on closing the circle so that, no matter what unexpected issues crop up, you are ready to keep the mentoring program cycling to success.
We all know that even the best mentor matches can go wrong [Click to Tweet] - regardless of how great your mentor matching criteria are. Even if both mentor and mentee go into their mentoring partnership with the very best of intentions, sometimes the unexpected happens, and there ends up being a conflict of personality, work, family, etc.
If and/or when this happens, they need to know that there is a clear plan laid out for them to follow, and b) that there is someone who will guide them through it.
Thatís you, the program administrator.
Thereís no point in wasting time if itís clear itís a bad mentor match. Itís important that the mentor and mentee know that itís okay to admit that itís not working, so that they can be reassigned to more productive mentor matches.
Consequences of Prolonging a Bad Mentor Match
Equally, itís important that you, the program administrator, are able to admit that itís okay that a mentor match isnít working for a few reasons:
- Your mentoring program will lose credibility and momentum. Especially if you intend for your mentoring program to cycle over, you canít afford to have bad PR if youíre going to recruit new mentors and mentees.
- No progress will be made toward your objectives. Frustrated, apathetic, and/or absent mentors and mentees wonít be able to learn and develop in ways that you can tie back to your objectives for your mentoring program.
- You wonít be able to demonstrate ROI. If youíre not progressing toward your objectives, thereís no way that you will have mentoring program ROI Ė which means that when push comes to shove when youíre trying to keep your funding, you likely wonít be able to.
Mentor Rematching Action Steps
Hereís what to do instead:
- Let mentors and men tees know before the program starts that they should come to you if they feel the match isnít working Ė and that there will be no negative consequences for them should they do so.
- Have a plan ready to put into action should a mentor and mentee approach you with just this concern Ė and take into consideration the possibility that youíll need to put on your mediator hat as part of the job.
- Be prepared to get back on track by marketing your mentoring program.
Itís very important that a ďno faultĒ mentoring partnership split rule is established to enable any necessary switches. Everyone needs to abide by it, mentors, mentees, managers, peers, etc. Itís okay to be reassigned. Itís up to you to communicate that to everyone involved.