As part of the Peer Mentoring Program, below are training resources to help you excel in your role as a mentor. The chart below reflects key takeaways from the book, Entering Mentoring, for you to consider as you navigate your mentor-mentee relationship(s). OPA is always a resource as well; reach out directly at with any needs or questions.




Finding Mentors External to CU Boulder

Mentoring Best Practices

  • Listen patiently. Give the mentee time to get to issues they find sensitive or embarrassing.
  • Build a relationship. Simple joint activities—walks across campus, informal conversations over coffee, attending a lecture together—will help to develop rapport. Take cues from the mentee as to how close they wish this relationship to be.  
  • Don’t abuse your authority. Don’t ask mentees to do personal work.
  • Nurture self-sufficiency. Your goal is not to “clone” yourself but to encourage confidence and independent thinking.
  • Establish “protected time” together. Try to minimize interruptions by telephone calls or visitors.
  • Share yourself. Invite mentees to see what you do, both on and off the job. Tell of your own successes and failures. Let the mentee see your human side and encourage the mentee to reciprocate.
  • Provide introductions. Help the mentee develop a professional network and build a community of mentors.
  • Be constructive. Critical feedback is essential to spur improvement, but do it kindly and temper criticism with praise when deserved.
  • Don’t be overbearing. Avoid dictating choices or controlling a mentee’s behavior.
  • Find your own mentors. New advisers, like new mentees, benefit from guidance by those with more experience.