Reasonable Expectations

The mentoring relationship is most effective if the expectations of the stakeholders are clarified and mutually understood. In formal relationships there may be need for specific expectations being documented. However in informal mentoring relationships, there are certain reasonable expectations.

Mentors can expect the emerging champion to:

ü  Accept the relationship.

ü  Meet as often as appropriate.

ü  Ask for suggestions and advice.

ü  Listen, apply advice and report the results.

ü  Keep any commitments made especially time commitments and commitment to complete any assignments given.

ü  Maintain confidentiality.

ü  Give opinions on the relationship.

ü  Work out any minor concerns.


Champions in the making can expect mentors to:

ü  Have regular meetings either face to face or interface electronically.

ü  Provide sound advice.

ü  Maintain confidentiality.

ü  Follow through on commitments made.

ü  Help resolve conflicts wherever they arise in the relationship

ü  Be honest, caring, and diplomatic in giving feedback.

ü  Evaluate the relationship near the end.

For the avoidance of doubt let me emphasize that champions in the making, should not expect mentors to:

ü  Perform their job responsibilities- e.g. assume protégé’s decision-making responsibility.

ü  Help extensively with personal problems, to the point of creating a dependent relationship.

ü  Spend more time on the relationship than the mentor is willing or able to give.

ü  Provide personal introductions unless offered.

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  • Reply James Mashevedze May 4, 2010 at 10:24 am

    thank you for the insightful advice.

    Stay blessed…

    • Reply nurturingchampions May 4, 2010 at 10:43 am

      You are welcome sir. May your influence be felt in the earth as you nurture and raise up leaders.

  • Reply greatnessmanual May 4, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    This sheds a lot of light for both mentor and protege. False expectations as people enter into relationships usually cause a lot of “heart-quakes” and tremors sometimes. No wonder they say assumption is simply the lowest level of knowledge that exists. Keep shedding the light. Where there is clarity, we all see direction and destiny.
    Thank you Dr.

    • Reply nurturingchampions May 4, 2010 at 3:11 pm

      In my experience the greatest heartaches come from unreasonable expectations. For example a protege wanted to do some unethical thing and was warned by the mentor that he would reveal the issue as it stood to cause harm to others. But the protege was now claiming confidentiality in the relationship to try and gag the mentor — at the expense of the public. This is unrealistic expectations.

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