12 Habits of the Toxic Mentee

A light-hearted look at how not to be a mentee!

  • Bring to the first formal meeting a long shopping list of things you want the mentor to do for you.
  • Expect the mentor to be available for you, whenever you want them (heroes never need sleep!).
  • Regard the mentor as your prime source of gossip to pass on.
  • Expect the mentor always to have the answer – that’s why they are more senior.
  • Expect the mentor to decide when to meet and what to talk about.
  • Boast about the relationship to your colleagues at every opportunity.
  • Never challenge what the mentor says – s/he is paid to know best.
  • Blame the mentor whenever advice doesn’t work out – s/he should have known better.
  • Treat mentoring sessions as mobile – the easiest item in the diary to move at the last minute.
  • Enjoy the opportunity to have a good moan or complaint whenever you meet – especially if no-one else will listen to you.
  • Make it clear to the mentor that you want to be just like them – adopt their style of speaking, dress and posture.
  • Never commit to doing anything as a result of the mentoring session. If, by accident, you do, simply forget to follow the commitment up. (Why spoil the fun of discussion with outcomes?)

© Used with the permission of David Clutterbuck