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Supporting fair and ethical business in partnership with The Co-operative Bank
Business Support for Co-ops – peer mentor handbook

Building trust and rapport with your mentee

Mentoring is about mutual trust and respect. It’s a two-way relationship in which both sides get the chance to learn new things and further personal and organisational development. We have selected your organisation as a mentor because of the experience you have gained from which your mentee can learn. Every mentoring relationship is different; but all mentoring relationships present the opportunity for both mentor and mentee to learn from each other.

Get to know your mentee
  • Talk about their business and their life outside it. Try to understand what they think and why. Value their viewpoint
  • Taking time to build rapport with your mentee will help you to get the most from the mentoring relationship. Rapport comes from shared values or experiences, and sometimes from a ‘chemistry’ that is hard to define
Do what you say you’re going to do
  • Agree what you are aiming to achieve through your mentoring sessions
  • Be reliable and always do what you say you are going to do
Communicate openly and honestly
  • Discuss issues as soon as they arise

  • Ask for and give feedback

  • Don’t set unrealistic expectations about what mentoring can achieve

Don’t be afraid to challenge
  • Your open, honest relationship will allow you to challenge your mentee constructively to explore a wider viewpoint

Mentors ‘pull’ – they don’t push

A mentor never ‘pushes’, whether by telling, instructing or giving advice.

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Business support for co-ops – peer mentor handbook