Mentoring Part 3 – Dealing With Challenging Mentoring Relationships [Slideshare]

A mentoring relationship depicted by two men staring out of a window with their backs to the camera

This is the third and final blog post in my series, Mentoring – Your Question Answered.  In these posts, I talk about a series of webinars I designed and delivered for a leading UK university who were launching a mentoring programme for their MBA Alumni.

In Part 1 I shared a changed version of the slides from the webinar I delivered, “Is Mentoring for Me?”.  Part 2 reviewed the second webinar which focused on “Tools & Techniques for Mentoring”, specifically looking at the practicalities of managing a mentoring relationship.

In this post, I’ll be talking about the third webinar in the series which looked at “Dealing with Challenging Mentoring Relationships”

When the university asked me to focus on this as a subject I confess I was a bit surprised.  For me, mentoring is a positive relationship all about mutual growth and benefit.  Most mentors are motivated by a wish to help someone while learning and developing new skills. Most mentees recognise their potential for an improved future.

As I explored further I discovered that when they had previously piloted a mentoring programme there had been some challenges and conflicts.  These were mainly because the Mentors didn’t fully understand that their role was not to give advice and tell people what to do.

When it comes to dealing with challenging mentoring relationships, the first and most important recommendation is to ensure everyone involved is clear on what Mentoring is and their roles and responsibilities in the relationship. That is what we covered in the first webinar on “Is Mentoring for Me?”

But even with that clear and settled, I realised there are several other pitfalls that can be encountered at the different phases of a Mentoring relationship and that’s what I covered in this third webinar:

  • Phases in a mentoring relationship

  • Possible pitfalls during the Starting Phase

  • Possible pitfalls during the Relating Phase

  • Possible pitfalls during the Parting Phase

And for each pitfall, I drew on my own experience of how it might have caused problems and how I dealt with it.

Dealing with Challenging Mentoring Relationships

Here is a revised copy of the slides:

Launching a Mentoring Programme?

If you would like me to deliver a similar webinar, talk or workshop on Dealing with Challenging Mentoring Relationships (or any other related topic), please give me a call on 07957 604783 or e-mail me at

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