7 Mentor Strategies to Help Proteges Grow

by Barry Sweeny, 2001


OK so, bottom line, what are the key strategies mentors really need to know and be able to do to effectively facilitate their protege’s professional growth?

Simply stated, the 7 key strategies for facilitating professional growth are:

  1. Identify and meet the learner’s needs, (ie. address their concerns)
  2. Clearly define excellence (the desired result, ie. standards, competencies, etc.)
  3. Ask reflective, open-ended questions to guide the protege toward a comparison
    of their current methods versus the desired practices
  4. Ask reflective, open-ended questions of the learner to guide toward setting
    a goal for improvement
    (i.e. closing the gap between actual and desired practices).
  5. Provide a low-risk positive and supportive learning environment
  6. Provide encouragement and support for the learner’s growth effort and celebrate
    milestones attained.
  7. Ask reflective, open-ended questions to prompt monitoring and reflecting
    on progress toward goals
    and to facilitate adjustment of plans to increase
    progress.