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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Sarkodie

4 Self-evaluation Questions for Mentors

"Without proper self-evaluation, failure is inevitable"

John Wooden

Evaluation is a key component of every mentoring relationship. Among other things, it helps to both assess and adjust what is being done. It also brings clarity, addresses concerns, and recognizes progress.

These benefits help to strengthen the mentoring relationship towards achieving its goals and objectives. For mentors to begin self-evaluation, one good question be used as a starter is: how are we doing in this relationship? Beyond this question, I want to share with you four (4) extra questions that mentors can use for self-evaluation in their mentoring relationships.

1. Is there a good balance of asking questions, talking, and listening during meetings?

Listening is a key skill every mentor should possess. Mentors should always be cautious of not dominating conversations. Asking the right question, providing the right input and paying attention to listen should be balanced. Stephen Covey says “The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand.

We listen to reply.” Mentors! Watch out for the right balance.

2. Is the mentee well prepared for meetings and engaging with interest?

Mentors must learn to observe the level of preparation of their mentees before meetings. A prepared mentee would have good questions, be ready to take notes, and be fully engaged. On the other hand, a mentee who isn’t prepared would make you feel you are just wasting your time. As a mentors, look out for these signs as part of an ongoing self-evaluation.

3. Is the mentee following through on action points?

In most cases, mentoring sessions end with actionable items or points to be worked on before the next meeting. If a mentee doesn't show commitment to working on these actionable items, it’s a red flag on their commitment to learning. Mentors should not ignore this, especially if it happens over and over.

4. Am I working harder at this relationship than the mentee?

In mentoring relationships, it is normally considered that mentees are supposed to work harder than mentors. Although this is true to some extent, this assumption is based on the perspective that mentors are the givers, and mentees, the receivers. However, for mentors to be able to richly impact their mentees, they must commit to enriching themselves daily.

For instance, mentors must be willing to research, gain new knowledge, resolve conflicts, and develop cross-cultural intelligence if these skills are needed to make their mentoring better. John F. Kennedy puts it in a wonderful wording - "Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other". It's imperative for mentors to do this ongoing self-evaluation.

Self-evaluation is a key and extremely important practice in every relationship. Anytime mentors become conscious of this and commit to it, every stage of the mentoring relationship becomes significantly enriched. In the end, both the mentor and mentee benefit, and the final evaluation gets easily done.

Credit: Arrow Leadership
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