Finding a good mentor isn't just a matter of throwing darts at a board and hoping one sticks; there are a set of principles that, if you adhere to them, will make the process easier. In their book “The Mentor’s Field Guide” Gail Manza and Susan K. Patrick offer standards for effective mentoring, which they obtained from MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership. The standards include:
- Recruitment. Recruit appropriate mentors and mentees by realistically describing the program’s aim and expected outcomes.
- Screening. Screen prospective mentors to determine whether they have the time, commitment and personal qualities to be effective mentors.
- Training. Train prospective mentors in the basic knowledge and skills needed to build an effective mentoring relationship.
- Matching. Match mentors and mentees along dimensions likely to increase the odds that mentoring relationships will endure.
- Monitoring and support. Monitor mentoring relationship milestones and support mentors with ongoing advice, problem-solving support and training opportunities for the duration of the relationship.
- Closure. Facilitate bringing the match to closure in a way that affirms the contributions of both the mentor and the mentee and offers both individuals the opportunity to assess the experience.