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Mentor Roles & Responsibilities


Mentors provide guidance, advice, feedback, and support to the mentee, serving variously as role model, teacher, counselor, advisor, sponsor, advocate, and ally, depending on the specific goals and objectives negotiated with the mentee.


  • Establishes, with the mentee, the mentee's explicit goals and objectives for the relationship
  • Takes the initiative in the relationship, but allows the mentee to take responsibility for their growth, development, and career planning
  • Commits to fostering the relationship for the specified period of time
  • Commits to meeting with mentee on a regular basis (not normally during the mentee's work time; no less than one hour per month)
  • Actively listens to mentee
  • Provides frank, honest, and constructive feedback
  • Provides encouragement and assists the mentee in identifying professional development activities
  • Maintains confidentiality
  • Reviews goals and objectives of the relationship with the mentee midway and at the end of a formal, long-term relationship (those lasting 6-12 months)
  • Follows through on commitments made to mentee
  • Respects mentee's limits
  • Explicitly states one’s own limits
  • Recognizes and works through conflicts in caring ways, invites discussion on differences with the mentee, and arranges for a third party to assist, if necessary
  • Makes only positive or neutral comments about the mentee to others; if disagreement over behavior or values arise, shares differences with the mentee; if necessary, takes steps to end the relationship and tries to find mentee another mentor
  • Maintains a professional relationship that doesn't intrude on the mentee's personal life; does not expect to be close friends
  • Ends the relationship at the agreed upon time