August 30, 2010 / 8:25 AM / 9 years ago

Management Tip of the Day: 3 ways to handle a mentor gone bad

Office workers walk during morning peak hour in central Sydney October 28, 2009. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz

BOSTON (Reuters) - The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and ( Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

“Even great mentoring relationships can go sour. Perhaps your mentor is standing in the way of your promotion. Or maybe you realize his advice is no longer relevant. Or possibly, he disappears when you need him most. Whatever the situation, here are three ways to make the most of it:

1. Spread your wings. Expand your internal network by offering to help with projects outside your function or department. If you distance yourself from your mentor now, you may find someone else to guide you.

2. Stand on your own. Show others that you do not merely exist in the shadow of your mentor, but that you are your own person.

3. Speak the truth. It may be time for an honest conversation with your mentor about the relationship. Be appreciative of what he’s done for you, but also be clear about what you need - or don’t need - going forward. “

- Today’s Management Tip was adapted from “When Your Good Mentor Goes Bad” by Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins.

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