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The Pillars of Mentorship

In recognition of National Mentoring Day taking place October 27th, WLP is pleased to feature last month’s episode of ‘Real Time with WLP’, featuring an insightful

conversation with Emma Charles, Senior Vice President, International Markets at Bristol Myers Squibb, who shares her best practices and tips for mentors and mentees alike.


As leaders, we all recognize the profound importance of mentorship. Throughout our careers, we will assume both the role of mentee and mentor as we develop relationships that will help us reach our full potential.


While the full conversation with Emma is worth the listen, we’ve distilled the key takeaways to serve as a handy reference guide.


The Pillars of Mentorship

Emma clearly outlines the three pillars which are essential to nurturing a successful mentor-mentee relationship:

  1. Build Trust: Trust is the foundation of any successful partnership.

  2. Dedicate Time: A thriving mentorship requires a time commitment from both parties.

  3. Concentrate: Be fully present in every interaction and concentrate on the discussion. Active listening ensures a deeper understanding and more effective guidance.


From the Mentor’s Perspective

Emma highlights three key strategies to foster an effective mentor-mentee relationship:


Stay connected – Extend your connection beyond formal meetings by sharing relevant articles or resources of interest. These actions demonstrate your genuine interest in the mentee’s growth and development.


Invest in the relationship – Lay the groundwork. Create positive “first impressions” by introducing yourself, sharing your background and experience, and learning about the mentee. This foundation is essential for long-term success, even before setting specific objectives.


Share Your Journey – Honesty is paramount. Sharing your struggles and experiences and providing practical examples helps the mentee see they are not alone in their challenges. It fosters a strong bond and equips them with actionable ways to tackle their issues.



From the Mentee’s Perspective

Emma shares three key ways mentees can help set the course for a beneficial relationship with their mentor:


Be Authentic – Share your authentic, true self, including doubts, failures, and insecurities. This transparency is a strength and gives insight into your influences, situation, character, and decision-making process.


Reflection – Pause and reflect on decisions and explore various angles and approaches rather than rushing into situations.


Working Together – From the outset, establish clear guidelines regarding the mentorship's frequency, duration, and desired outcomes with your mentor. Setting these parameters ensures a productive working relationship.


In essence, mentorship is a journey of trust, dedication, and active communication. Mentors play a vital role by connecting, investing, and sharing their experiences, while mentees must bring their authentic selves and clear objectives to the table. These elements are instrumental in creating an impactful mentorship experience.


While we encourage you to listen to the full podcast, we hope these insights from Emma Charles serve as a valuable resource for your mentor-mentee interactions, whichever role you are playing, and encourage and inspire you to recognize National Mentorship Day and the importance of mentorship on October 27 and every day.

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