One vital mistake mentees might make is assuming that it is the mentor responsibility to prepare the schedule and agenda for the mentoring sessions. They could not be more wrong. Think of it this way, although both parties benefit from a good mentoring relationship in different ways, as a mentee you are the one who is looking to (the mentor) for guidance. A mentor choosing to use their time to potentially help you reach your goals, so don’t waste their time, be proactive and come prepared.
We appreciate that it can be daunting and difficult to know how and what to prepare for, especially if you have never been in a mentoring relationship before. We have therefore gathered some tips to get you started and get you ready for your first mentoring session.
What does an ideal first mentoring session look like?
Building rapport: Find common ground (experiences,, talk about the values you both hold, any relevant social or career history, share things that you both feel passionate about, for example hobbies.
Setting personal objectives and goals: What do you want to accomplish and how can you and your mentor do that together?
Contracting: Agree on the when and how of the mentoring sessions. What do you as a mentee expect to get out of the mentoring relationship and find out what the mentor thinks they can offer you.
Agreeing on actions and tasks: These are tasks that is to be completed before the next meeting.
Above we have already mentioned personal objectives and goals, setting these can be extremely difficult, but necessary. Keep in mind that setting objectives can take several mentoring sessions and might change during the mentoring journey. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before every mentoring session to keep you on track and focused:
What do you really want to be and do? (Your end goal)
What are you good at and doing well that is helping you get there?
What are you not so good at and not doing well that is potentially preventing you from getting where you want to be?
What can you do differently tomorrow to meet those challenges?
How could your mentor help you? It is important to think about this last one and let the mentor know so that they themselves can adjust in ways that benefit you the most.
Ending the mentoring session
Before ending a mentoring session, regardless of if it is the first one or not, make sure to discuss how the mentoring session was helpful, and which parts were not helpful. Think of and suggest new ways to make the coming sessions more effective and make sure to have at least the next mentoring session blocked out in your calendar. Make sure to never cancel a mentoring session, but rather reschedule, this keeps the cycle going.
Lastly, remember to have fun. The first meeting might be daunting, but a mentoring relationship is a great opportunity to learn new things, gain new experiences and meet new people that might be in your life forever.
Mentorjam is a Dutch startup, founded in April 2020. They were born out of frustration, and their passion and belief in the Power of Mentoring lead them to create a truly unique solution for organizations who want to deliver change through Mentoring.
The team at Mentorjam believes that every person needs a mentor. Sharing knowledge is progress, progress drives change, and change is a motivator. The Mentorjam Whitelabel Saas solution enables communities, organizations, and ecosystems of all sizes to provide mentoring solutions that really add value.
To make a difference in this world we should inwardly reflect on what we can share, teach or learn from others to really deliver change. To find out more or book a demo visit www.mentorjam.com