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It’s January, a time when every seasoned professional’s fancy turns to mentoring! Ok, maybe not every professional, but it is National Mentoring Month and we want to help our Homies who may be thinking about taking on this challenging but rewarding venture.Take our quiz and find out if you have what it takes to be a mentor!


1. Your mentee tells you she wants to go to
graduate school but is unsure of whether it’s the right step at this time in
her career. You:

  • a.      
    Offer to help her weigh information to make a
    decision
  • b.      
    Tell her to forget about graduate school and
    focus on her job
  • c.      
    Decline to get involved because you performed
    poorly in school
  • d.      
    Send her links to different master’s degree programs

Answer: A. As a mentor, your role is to help your mentee
sort out the pros and cons of such a important decision. Your personal
experience in this arena counts for little and forwarding information in an email
can make you appear detached.

2. Your mentee reveals he’s suffering from severe depression
and asks you to counsel him. You:

  • a.      
    Encourage him to seek the help of a medical
    professional
  • b.      
    Agree to act as his therapist
  • c.      
    Notify his employer about his condition
  • d.      
    Tell him to ignore his feelings and push through

Answer: A. It’s common for mentors and mentees to develop close
relationships so the divulging of some personal information is expected.
However, as a mentor you’re a career coach not a health professional and acting
as a one is beyond your realm. Offer your support as your mentee goes through
the wellness process but avoid being callous by sharing something so personal
with his employer or brushing it off.

3. Your mentee shares her ideas for improving her
productivity on the job. You:

  • a.      
    Offer feedback that includes some tips that have
    helped you
  • b.      
    Criticize her ideas and insist she follow a plan
    you’ve created
  • c.      
    Connect her with a co-worker who is doing the
    same thing
  • d.      
    Respond with a text message saying “good job!”

Answer: A. Mentors serve as sounding boards for ideas and
plans. So when your mentee approaches you with either, it’s a chance for you to
listen and offer some insight where necessary. Sharing what’s worked for you is
good; demanding that your mentee do what you tell her is not. Neither is
passing her off to someone else or brushing off her ideas. She’s coming to you
because she values your advice and guidance and you agreed to dispense that
when requested. Don’t take that responsibility lightly.

4. Someone you’ve seen in passing but don’t know
personally sends you an email requesting that you be their mentor. You:

  • a.      
    Acknowledge but politely decline his request
  • b.      
    Reply angrily that you are offended by his
    gesture
  • c.      
    Ignore his email and delete it from your inbox
  • d.      
    Refer him to a colleague who may be a better fit

Answer: A. Mentoring is a personal relationship between two
people who are in each others network and are familiar with each others professional
background, work, and skillset. A stranger who jumps out of the blue asking you
to mentor them – over email, no less – probably isn’t a good candidate for such
a partnership. Kindly turn them down but don’t pass them off to someone else.
That’s not a good a look, Homie.


Until next time, hustle hard Homies!