So you’ve found a mentor or a mentee, and you’re ready to get a start on your mentoring relationship – what’s the next step? Each mentorship is unique and may find different methods that work for them, but a good mentorship structure ensures that both mentees and mentors gain the most out of their mentoring relationship.
1. Outline Your Expectations And Requirements
An effective mentorship structure begins with a solid foundation, and this can be done by outlining the expectations and requirements of your mentor/mentee at the beginning of your mentorship. Your mentorship structure should always start off with objectives to:
- Get acquainted with each other
- Decide on preferred communication
- Agree on SMART goals
- Agree on Code of Behavior.
2. Maintain Consistency
Consistency is key in a mentorship, and you should endeavor to schedule regular meetings to catch up with your mentor/mentee. In addition to this, monthly meetings should be scheduled into your mentorship structure as a chance to touch base and review the progress of the mentorship. These meetings should include:
- A centering exercise
- Confidentiality reminder
- 5 minutes update to identify challenges
- Exploration of key issues
- Reflection of exercise
- Agree on next steps
3. Incorporate A ‘Wrap-Up’ Plan
We recommend that mentorship structures incorporate a ‘wrap-up’ plan of action as you approach the end of your mentoring relationship. Some examples of steps you’d like to take include:
- Reflect on your goals and objectives
- Avoid letting your partnership fade away from lack of attention. Prepare for it!
- Discuss your successes and areas of improvement
- If you are a mentee, consider giving your mentor an appreciation gift or letter. Let him/her know she/he as impacted your life.
- Pay attention your reactions. You might have mixed feelings about the end of your mentoring relationship
- Like other effective mentors, you’ll find the satisfaction you experience will be worth your hard efforts
For more on how to make the most of your mentorship, have a browse through our Guide To Your Mentorship.