If you are considering entering a mentoring relationship but are unsure what is involved, here are some tips to help you decide if it is for you.
Before embarking on your mentoring relationship there are a few key aspects that you need to reach agreement on.
You should have an initial discussion around:
The most effective mentoring conversation needs to focus on setting and achieving goals, exploring issues and making informed decisions.
The process begins by getting the mentee to reflect on their current situation and experience and then move towards an informed decision on how best to progress.
Define the challenge
Mentoring needs to have a purpose, so discuss broad aims from the outset and clearly identify the scope of the issues that you need to work on. At the heart of the mentoring conversation are two key questions:
One – where is the mentee now?
Two – where do they want to be?
There are a number of tools that you can use to help you both answer these questions. These tools can also be found in our mentoring platform but are outlined below:
Where is the mentee now?
SWOT – This will help you to understand the mentee’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
The G-Star Model – This looks at goals, current situation, current thinking, current actions and results.
Where does the mentee want to be?
Once you have clearly identified the issues and challenges that the mentee is facing, the next step is to set goals and milestones that you can work towards. This will give focus and ensure that the mentoring relationship doesn’t stall or become side tracked.
Setting SMART Goals
Our mentoring platform includes a SMART Goals template to help you set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timebound goals and set out milestones to identify progress in achieving these goals.
These will form the core of your mentoring journey and should be regularly reviewed to ensure progress is being made in achieving goals and the milestones along the way.
The mentoring process – the mentor’s role
Keep the process on track
As a mentor, your role is to keep the process going in terms of maintaining an awareness of time, focus and boundaries and retaining a constructive tone.
This could involve challenging inconsistencies or assumptions in what you hear from the mentee. You might challenge the mentee to stretch themselves. However, it should be done sensitively and appropriately to help them open up possibilities rather than close them down.
Encourage the mentee to explore a wide range of options and possibilities.
With your mentee
Encourage the setting of action points that are specific, realistic and time bound.
Ensure action points are completed and progress is being made to reaching goals and overcoming challenges.
The mentoring process – the mentee’s role
Why not start your mentoring journey by signing up to our mentoring program.