You have just been assigned a mentoree who has a different ethnic background from you. You find yourself somewhat uncomfortable and sense that your mentoree is feeling the same. Since this is a sensitive subject, you believe that the best approach is to share your own experiences and advice on how s/he should proceed in developing the skills you have both identified. It’s what worked for you and it’s how you feel you can be most helpful. Over the course of time, you find that your mentoree appears to be polite but not fully engaged in the process.
• What do you think is really happening here?
• Will you address the issue or let it go?
• What are the consequences?
• Is there anything you could have done early on to avoid this situation?
• What is the biggest concern you have in mentoring someone from a different ethnic background?