Your company has just announced a new mentoring initiative that has generated a groundswell of interest and excitement. Your supervisor has signed you up as a mentor and just let you know. Gulp! What am I in for?
You are busier than ever on top priority and high impact projects and you know there are three more waiting for you once those are completed. Additional responsibilities in your role are stressing you out.
Now you have been “voluntold” that you must participate in the initiative as a mentor. Can you say no? How would it look if you didn’t participate? What would your supervisor think? What would it say about your ability to manage your workload?
Mentoring participation is a serious commitment. Participating because you’ve been voluntold isn’t a good enough reason to say yes. You have to want to be a mentor. It takes time and effort, and without a serious personal commitment you may well not have the energy and enthusiasm you will need to be successful.
Know that you are not alone. Peer pressure can be bad enough without being voluntold by one’s supervisor.
Here are six questions to consider before making this hard decision:
1. Do I have a sincere desire to engage in a mentoring relationship?
2. Am I willing to do the work required to prepare for mentoring meetings?
3. Do I possess the requisite knowledge, expertise or experience to mentor a mentee?
4. Do I have sufficient time right now to mentor a mentee?
5. Do I feel comfortable being a mentor?
6. What competencies or skills do I possess that would make me a good mentor?
If you can’t do the job that being a good mentor requires, It is best to speak up and say no (even if you have been voluntold).