How to develop a successful mentoring/coaching relationship

There is more to a mentoring relationship than simply finding a more experienced person to help with career advice. A mentoring or coaching relationship provides the opportunity to

  • Make time for personal learning with someone more experienced
  • Work on career progression
  • Gain impartial advice and an alternative perspective
  • Access a non-judgemental sounding board for ideas
  • Focus on overcoming challenges and developing new skills and knowledge

Below are a few key points to keep in mind to ensure a strong and lasting mentoring or coaching relationship.


You need to have a well-defined reason for seeking a mentor, you need to have a clear vision of what you want your mentoring relationship to help you achieve, otherwise the relationship will drift and stall.

Consider what a successful mentoring relationship outcome looks like to you, and what you specifically want to learn. Once you do this it will help you identify the skills and expertise that you need your mentor to have and enable you to make a good match with a mentor or coach who will be in a better position to aid you towards your goals.


The mentee has a key role in making the mentoring process work, which is why we put the onus on the mentee to choose their mentor and to make initial contact to set up a first conversation once a mentoring request has been accepted. A mentoring relationship requires commitment and focus. Make sure you have the time to commit to regular meetings and to doing the actions in between meetings that are required to move you towards achieving your goal(s).

A mentee should be open to developing self-awareness and to making changes in order to facilitate professional development, this may involve developing new attitudes and behaviours. Mentees will need to be open to honest, constructive feedback and to take any agreed action.

Be respectful. If for any reason you change your mind and no longer wish to start or continue mentoring or coaching relationship let your mentor/coach know and formally withdraw from the relationship.


To prevent a mentoring/coaching relationship from drifting and stalling it is important to have a clearly defined structure. We recommend a three-step approach:

Preparation and first conversation

This first step is very important in identifying the challenges you will work on, setting the goals you will work towards and the timeframe you will aim to achieve your goals in. It is also a good time to schedule regular meetings and to set the boundaries that you wish to work within. Our mentoring platform provides you with many tools to help you with this process.


This is the stage where most of your regular meetings will take place, where you will work towards your goals, record milestones and review progress. Our platform includes a meetings tool to enable you to set meetings and to record notes and action points.

 Goal achievement

Once you have achieved the initial goals you have set you may decide to conclude the relationship or you may decide to set new goals to work towards.

If you think you could benefit from working with a mentor why not sign up to our mentoring program.