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To increase the chances that the relationship between WECOACH and mentee will flourish, it is important that both of them can match. As we already explained, each one of them is a different individual with their own style, personality, objectives, ideas... That is why this match must be carefully done, considering all the variables and trying to find the most suitable “assignment”. The choice must be done selectively, respecting some personal parameters. This selection has to match personal preferences, needs and risk tolerance (Johnson & Ridley, 2004).

Personal preferences. The coach/mentor must be honest to themselves regarding their personal preferences. They should be willing to be fair and ensure equal chances in their selection, but also be aware of their personal preferences, even prejudices, and at which level that fairness can prevail. If, for example, they chose a mentee towards whom they have any kind of prejudice, the relationship won’t be as fluid and fructuous as it should. To find the balance, they should ask themselves “Do I generally exclude members of certain groups?” If the answer is yes, the next step is trying to find the reason why they do it and identify if it is a compelling reason and if they are prone to change idea or not. Of course, who is in this type of role shouldn’t have any prejudice. If so, they should re-evaluate their own role in guiding people.

Needs. With light analysis of one’s features, one’s needs can be understood. For example, if a mentee is lacking self-confidence, the right match for them will be someone good at cheering and motivating.

Risk tolerance. It is important to establish the level of risk they are willing to cope with when choosing a mentee. If the person who is going to provide support or guidance has the will but limited energies or time, they should find a “less challenging mentee”, with an obvious talent or potential.

It is true that good matching depends extremely on the context and tasks of the coaching process, but chemistry between the parts, in a personal and professional dimension, is key to a good working partnership, and it is something that can be instantaneously measured. Some elements to take into account when in this matching process are:

  • values,
  • interests,
  • work ethic,
  • preference for the structure and productivity of the coaching,
  • career aspirations,
  • short and long-term goals,
  • personality traits, such as sense of humour, warmth, humility, extroversion,
  • social skills, communication style.

The more both parties consider themselves to be similar, the more evident will benefits appear.

Apart from this, it is highly advisable for both parties to have similar career paths, being the WECoach most experienced than the mentee. By specifically describing some elements, the match will be more easily done. The following table is a useful tool that can be used by the mentor and the mentee to compare each other’s experience, aspirations and preferences, in order to do assure a good match:

Mentee’s development goals:

(What does the mentee want to achieve? Which are her aspirations?)

WECoach’s competences:

(What are the WECoach’s top competences and strengths to perform this role?)

Job experience:

(Which is the precedent professional experience of each part? Are your experiences useful for achieving the goals of the mentorship?)



Educational background:

(Which are the educational paths of each one? School, university, trainings… Are they in line with the goals of the mentorship?)



Topical interests:

(What are the WECoach and the mentee’s interests? Are they similar? For example, hobbies)




What is expected from the WECoach and from the mentee in this relationship?



Preferred criteria for the match:

What is important for the WECoach and the mentee to base the match on? Which are the aspects to take into account to do a match?)



Considering these elements, the chances to have an efficient match are greater.

A piece of advice for mentees: it takes time, professional resources and emotional energy for a person to fulfil the role of WECoach, so the more mentees she has, the more limitations they will face. It is preferable to select someone who can focus on you.

A piece of advice for WECoaches: if you have the chance, spend time knowing your potential mentee, observe her interactions and work closely to start creating a link and a natural mentorship.

What kind of relationship?

Once the match is done, it is the moment to start open conversations, where both parties express themselves and put their willingness to work through their concerns, similarities, expectations and relationship contours. It is the first step to make this relationship productive. When those elements are clarified, they can stablish some ground rules for them to work together in the best conditions to reach that productivity.

This kind of relationships are dynamic, personal and reciprocal and are associated with positive personal and career outcomes. They are beneficial not only for the mentee, but also for the coach, who can see their creativity enhanced and discover new professional synergies, as well as recognition, fulfilment and reward. It is, lastly, a generative and multiplier activity, as coached people are more likely to coach others in future, if their experience has been satisfactory (Morgan, n.d; Johnson & Ridley, 2004).


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Centre d'Information Europe Direct

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Charlotte Perault, EU Project Manager

Hélène Seigneur, EU Project Manager

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