If you’ve ever found yourself in a mentoring relationship you will know that the number one challenge is maintaining the momentum. So, we’re sharing our mentoring methodology designed to keep your mentoring relationship on track once the post-match excitement has died down.
All you need to do is: Plan, Reflect, Assess.
Once you’ve been matched, it’s important for the mentee and mentor to schedule their first meeting. Ideally, the mentee should be the one to initiate the first contact and use this as an opportunity to share with their mentor what they are looking to focus on and where they are looking for help.
This will not only result in a positive first impression, but it will also help give the mentor context prior to the first meeting of how they can help, resulting in a productive first meeting which sets the tone and agenda for how the mentoring relationship will play out.
Hopefully, during the meeting, you’ve been taking notes! If you don’t naturally do this – start doing it. It is an essential behaviour in not only showing to your mentor that you are listening, it also provides you with a useful reference to go back and reflect on post-meeting in your own time.
Dot point the key discussion points and what actions are required. Share this back with your mentor in a timely fashion. It doesn’t have to be that same day but don’t leave it longer than a couple of days or else you’ll forget.
So after a few meetings, it’s important to move past reflection and objectively assess how things are progressing. How are you tracking against your original outlined goals or objectives? Have these changed?
If you’re still on track and both feel like you’re making progress and this is a productive relationship, keep going.
Now it’s time to set up your next meeting. But rather than scheduling a re-occurring appointment, use the action items previously shared to set the agenda for when it makes sense to next catch up. That may be 2 weeks – it may be 8 weeks. But give yourself the appropriate time to go and do something, so you can report back at your next catch up.
Have you achieved what you set out to achieve? That’s great. Now it’s time to both sit-down and assess what’s next. Maybe the relationship has run its course and it’s time to move on. Maybe you want to continue catching up in a more informal capacity. Whatever you decide, if you’ve followed the formula above, this will feel like a very natural conversation to have.
Have you not quite got there? Well, that’s ok too. What’s important, is that you’ve got a reference point to know how you are tracking and if progress isn’t being made or it has stalled, well maybe it’s time to close out the relationship. Again, if you’ve followed this methodology, hopefully, this makes this an easier conversation to have.
Challenge & Rematch
“Every person who rises above the common level has received two educations: the first from his teachers; the second, more personal and important, from himself.”– Edward Gibbon
It’s our firm belief at Mentorloop that no one is self-made and that we all have something to learn and something to teach. Whether playing the role of mentee or mentor, the best mentorships are reciprocal in nature. As you progress in your development, think about what value you could add? How could you help someone else?
Identifying not only what you need help with but also how you can help, will inform and guide you in finding your next meaningful match.