What if the mentoring relationship does not work out?

At the beginning of any mentoring relationship, the openness of initial discussions regarding expectations of mentoring will be crucial to a good outcome. Both the mentor and the mentee should be sure to bring up concerns as soon as they develop.

Openness of communication is crucial to a successful mentoring relationship. Periodically evaluating whether goals of the mentee are being met can identify when meetings are not successful and lead to restructuring of the mentoring process before problems become severe.

However, if both parties agree that their mentoring relationship is not advancing and should be terminated, it should be brought to the attention of the oversight committee or mentoring manager in the department or College so that they can assist with the transition of the mentee to a new mentor. It’s also important the mentor and the mentee identify positive aspects of the relationship that occurred as expression of those positives may ensure a future academic relationship of the mentor and the mentee.