No 5 Golden Nuggets (Business News) What are the basic principles of an excellent mentoring relationship?

February 16, 2020 8:32 pm Published by

Thomas Cullen Founder and CEO of

Looking forward to hearing from you

Fundamental principles your mentor will be able to:

  • Be a person you can trust.
  • Outline guidelines that can be followed
  • Point out strengths and weaknesses in proposed projects
  • Act as a confidential sounding board
  • Assist in preparing SMART goals with matching Action Plans
  • Be external accountability for you

What is Mentoring?

They need to be able to listen and ask questions that will challenge the mentee to identify the course of action they need to take regarding their business idea or development.

Every start up business should have a mentor from pre-start (To test for feasibility), start-up (Ensuring everything is in place and planned for) and business development (Having got up and running how to stay ahead and be sustainable) .

What is a Mentor?

A mentor is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as an “experienced and trusted adviser”. They are a person that will

  • Listen
  • Ask questions to help develop the mentee’s understanding of a situation or problem
  • Provide information and knowledge and share informal networks
  • Offer different perspectives
  • Provide support and encouragement
  • Be a sounding board
  • Be a critical friend
  • Encourage self-reflection
  • Help mentees identify areas for development

A mentor will have the opportunity to use their experience, knowledge and wisdom to support the development of the mentee. However, the responsibility for making things happen and putting plans into action lies with the mentee.

Why Mentoring?

  • Each relationship will be unique to those two individuals involved
  • It is people-centred
  • It provides a feedback system- to enhance learning
  • It is broad in focus – it should meet the needs of the mentee and mentor
  • It is not exclusive – but complementary to other methods of learning

How the mentoring process should work:

Initial conversation: 

  • Explain the purpose of the mentoring relationship
    • Outline the format of the conversations  
    • Advise how these conversations will work
    • Explain what the mentor will commit to and the mentor’s role
    • What is expected from mentees and their role?

Mentoring sessions proper:

Review experience

Identify objectives

Provide feedback

Identify strengths, achievements, opportunities and areas of development

Investigate options and identify supports needed

coaching on specific areas if required

Set SMART goals and convert into action between sessions

Like every good thing, it must come to an end but in an orderly way.

Set out time parameters or what objectives need to be achieved to bring the relationship to a conclusion.

When all goals of each session and objectives of the mentoring program have been completed there needs to be agreement that all has been done and sign off.

Identify with the mentee what their next steps should be and work on a time- limited steps to be taken.


  • An excellent mentor will focus on the needs of the mentee.
  • They will listen 2/3’s of the time and talk no more than 1/3 of the time.
  • At all times the mentor support, guides and helps the mentee to address the challenges the mentee does or will face.
  • They always keep an open mind and so should the mentee.


  • The mentor must never take ownership or responsibility for mentee SMART Goals or Action Plans
  • Assume that what worked for the mentor in the past will automatically work for the mentee.
  • Act on behalf of the mentee unless jointly agree that this is the best course of action
  • The mentor must not assume anything without identifying the root cause of any problems encountered by the mentee. we will provide you with a mentoring service that:

  • Provides you with tools and insights for entrepreneurs in the process of, starting or developing, a business or project
  • Helps you with simple and effective business development maps, plans, tools and techniques to achieve your business goals.
  • Guides your enterprise to enhance success, save time and money by keeping business-focused.


No obligations — just an introductory chat and some useful advice.

Click here:

Our mentoring promise

We recommend you buy “Market Research, Analysis and Opportunity” from for detailed step by step instructions

Copyright December 2019

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This post was written by Joe Coll

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