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Happiness Habits Inc > News > Mentoring > Should you change your mentor?

Should you change your mentor?

Posted by: Penny
Category: Mentoring


Personal mentoring is one of the best ways to grow both in your skills and abilities and as a person.

Yet, mentorship is built on a relationship and like other connections in our lives may have a positive or negative impact on us. However, it is sometimes difficult to tell whether we are just having some minor setbacks in our mentor-mentee relationship or whether it is time to find a new mentor.

One study shows that the most common problems between mentors and mentees are poor communication, lack of commitment and a mentor’s lack of experience.

Here are some things to watch for that may indicate you need to find a new mentor match.

  1. Communication problems. Communication is key to working together and if you are not able to communicate well with your mentor, it could be a sign that you need a change. Before you make a switch, it is important that you try to make things work. Talking about expectations is one way that you and your mentor can connect and find common ground. However, if the communication disconnect continues for too long it may be best to change your mentor. It is best to attempt to resolve communication issues within a few weeks rather than letting it drag on.
  2. Negative emotions. If the idea of meeting with your mentor causes you stress or anxiety that is a warning sign that it is not a good relationship. Some people can be difficult to work with and if that is the case with you and your mentor then you should switch. Your emotions are often a good gauge that something is not right. So, don’t ignore them.
  3. Bad influence. A mentor that is consistently complaining about the organisation, the leadership or others is not the best advisor for anyone. Mentors should have a positive outlook and be encouraging you to meet your goals rather than using your meeting time as a time to vent.
  4. Mismatched goals or skills. Despite the best efforts of our mentoring Coordinator some mentees are mismatched with a mentor. This can mean a personality clash or that the mentor does not have the skills that match your goals. Regardless of what the differences are between you and your mentor it is important to be clear about your goals or the skills you want to learn from the experience. This information can even help the mentoring Coordinator find a better match for you.
  5. Lack of feedback or support. Growth is an essential part of the mentoring experience. In order for it to be a productive experience, you need to be getting constructive feedback on a regular basis. Mentors that are not able to communicate well or who do not offer any guidance won’t help you grow. In the same way, a mentor that is too busy to meet with you often can be a red flag that the mentoring relationship will deteriorate.

How to Make a Smooth Switch

Making a smooth transition between mentors takes a bit of work and finesse. You will need to be tactful but direct with the mentor that you are leaving behind. They may not have been a good fit as a mentor but you don’t want to burn the bridge. They may still be a key contact to have at some other point in your life. Here are a few ways to switch mentors.

  1. Document your dissatisfaction. Write down the reason that the mentoring  relationship is not working out for you. Don’t forget to add the steps that you took to resolve the problems and the outcomes of your actions. However, be tactful and professional in your comments.
  2. Identify a new mentor match. This step depends on how your mentor Coordinator wants to handle the mentee rematching process.
  3. Plan a polite goodbye. Even though things didn’t work out between you and your mentor, it is important not to part ways on bad terms. Often times they can turn out to be a good resource in the future. Be professional and polite when you tell them that you no longer want them as your mentor.
  4. Practice gratitude. Even if the mentoring experience was not a good fit for you, it will still have been a learning opportunity for you. Consider looking at the positives that you gained from it. Perhaps you can acknowledge that your goals needed to be further refined. Or recognise that you gained some new confidence in standing up for yourself by recognising you needed to find another mentor and doing something about it.


Mentoring programs can offer extra support and opportunities to women. However, a bad mentor-mentee match can lead to a bad experience, which, in turn, can have a negative impact on an entire  mentoring program, So it is necessary and important to get a good match. There are ways to increase the likelihood of a successful mentor-mentee match. One of the best ways to create the right match is through getting to know your mentoring coordinator.

In life, we can all seek to develop our skills, continually learn new things, and challenge ourselves on a regular basis. This naturally takes a degree of devotion, and life can often get in the way of our self-improvement efforts. Having a mentor – that is, somebody who can help guide, advise and teach you through a problem or towards a goal – is a great way to stay on track.

Remember that mentoring has the power to accelerate our self-development, life progress and overall confidence, it’s pretty surprising that very few people have a mentor, particularly given that so many successful people recommend and praise the mentor(s) they have had in their lives.

    Nearly 80 percent of all learning is considered to be informal, meaning that it is not done by reading or taking classes, but rather by learning from others, such as a mentor.
    Personal empowerment means taking control of your life and requires you to set meaningful goals to identify what you want from life, and then take action to achieve those goals and have more impact over your world.
    Whether you’ve got no clue what you want, or you have a mile-long bucket list, hopefully, there will be something from your mentor to get you highly motivated.
    Stay focused on your best life and improve your skills, networks, self-confidence, and ultimate success along your path. Learn about yourself and work out how and where you should be headed to achieve the best outcome.
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