The three key elements of an effective mentoring relationship

Rhodri Morgan
posted by Rhodri Morgan
9 August 2015

There is a famous quote: “The greatest gift you can give someone is your time. Because when you give your time you are giving a portion of your life that you will never get back”.

Having attended the 2014 Fellows of the Future event, the value it has brought me both on a professional and personal level cannot be overstated.

The purpose of the event was to allow aspiring procurement professionals and CIPS Fellows of the Future to interact and be mentored by a current fellow and I was very fortunate to be teamed up with the chairman of the CIPS Board of Trustees Richard Masser.

During the evening there were many inspirational moments, but it is the mentoring and support Richard provided during the evening and over the past 12 months that has brought me the greatest value.

Since the event the time Richard has devoted to me has been invaluable. He has provided me with both guidance and insight, and for this blog entry I thought I would follow up Amanda Earnshaw’s inspirational blog on getting our Fellows of the Future involved with our Institute with three things I consider crucial for developing a successful mentoring relationship in your journey to becoming a Fellow of the Future:

1. Regular communication. Having a mentor does not provide any benefit if you never communicate or speak. The relationship needs to be active and although you may have busy schedules you can use modern technology to your advantage. But nothing replaces meeting in person so if such an opportunity arises make the effort to make it happen.

2. Planning. Ensure that in advance of any conversation or meeting you are clear on what you would like to discuss. Have a clear idea of what you would like to cover to get the most out of a meeting. Although planning is recommended don’t feel afraid to stray off course as sometimes such deviations can be as valuable, if not more so, than planned topics.

3. Reciprocation. It is hoped by taking part in a mentoring relationship the mentee will learn something from the mentor. But like any relationship this is a two way street. The mentee should also be open to support and assist the mentor if requested and in time such support will enable the mentee to develop the necessary skills and abilities to one day become a mentor themselves.

If you have an opportunity of being a mentor or being mentored by another person I would encourage you to take the chance wholeheartedly. Not only can you gain invaluable insight from your peers but you can also apply the wealth of experience they have gained during their careers to your own professional development and this is priceless.

Rhodri Morgan is CIPS Congress student representative

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