Preparing the Relationship

Making the most of your mentoring relationship requires learning from differences. Once you’ve prepared yourself by expanding your understanding of your own culture, identity, and biases, you need to get a good sense of who your mentoring partner really is and the differences between you. As the sociologist Milton Bennett has noted, behavior and values must be understood both in terms of the uniqueness of each person and in terms of the culture of that person.35 There is a bonus! By getting to know your mentoring partner in a deeper way, you may find that you get to know yourself even better. Likely, you will discover that awareness of difference begets more awareness and mutual understanding, which deepens as ...

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