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In the mentoring relationship, the onus should be on the mentee to be proactive and help to create the mentoring meeting agenda. As the primary purpose of the mentoring relationship is to assist in the development of the mentee, it is their responsibility to make the most of the mentor’s time.
The mentorship is valuable to the career development of the mentee. Besides, it is beneficial to the mentor as well. For the mentee, it is helpful to gain exposure, and learn specific job functions and organizational life. In addition, mentoring help in the psychosocial functions of the mentee through counseling and role modeling, leading to an increased feeling of self-worth, effectiveness, and competence at work.
Meanwhile, for the mentor, positive results may include enhanced job satisfaction, job performance, organizational commitments, lower turnover intent, and career success.
Since mentoring is beneficial to both mentee and mentor, one must know how to approach a mentor meeting, the mentoring meeting agenda, how to build the relationship, and more.
What is a Mentoring Meeting?
A mentoring meeting is when a mentee and mentor commit to one another meeting to build familiarity. The meeting strives to share knowledge, set expectations for the relationship, and involve giving advice. It is up to the protégé or the mentee to create the mentoring meeting agenda and come prepared with an outline of what to discuss. The mentee takes the initiative in the relationship.
The mentoring meeting agenda should be created on the fact to emphasize learning about one another. Discuss professional and personal history to establish common grounds. Besides, the topics centred around situational advice, skills, and leadership can also be involved. It is essential to have expectations in this type of meeting, such as at the mentor relationship will confine, highlighting a set of goals of the mentee and setting up recurring meeting sessions.
Structuring a Mentoring Meeting Session
Though every mentoring relationship varies, there are goals set at the beginning that the mentee wants to accomplish. Then, the mentoring helps them to get where they want to reach while developing their skills, confidence, self-awareness, and good communication in the journey.
Every mentoring meeting requires essential topics of discussion along with challenges and solutions contributing to the overall goals of the mentee to make sure that progress is being made. To ensure a productive meeting, the mentee and mentor need to do some simple things before, during, and after their session.
For the success of the mentee-mentor relationship, it is vital for both parties to be prepared beforehand, especially the mentees. But it is essential for both to know the professional backgrounds of each other to gain an understanding of the skills, interests, and experiences of the other person. It is easier to initiate the conversation and take the session to the next level when you come up with proper meeting agenda. Besides, it also helps to strengthen the relationship.
Think about the professional goals you want to achieve as a mentee and how you can bring them up as the topic of discussion with your mentor. You must prepare your mentoring meeting agenda in advance and consult your mentor if they want to add anything.
And as a mentor, note down the experiences which may give a valuable perspective to the mentee keeping in mind the goals the relationship strives to achieve. In addition, think about the tips and hacks that may be beneficial to their career development.
Mentor Meeting Agenda
Though the mentee recommends taking the initiative and preparing the meeting plan, it is not mandatory. When people have the opportunity to contribute to a mentoring meeting agenda and prepare in advance, they feel more involved and engaged in the conversation. Therefore, it is recommended to build a schedule before the session collaboratively.
Regardless of who is taking the lead, your mentor meeting agenda should flow roughly like the following:
Mentor-mentee relationships work best when there is transparency and openness. However, it isn’t easy to open before you have built trust. One tends to trust the people they know and like. Thus, dedicate a reasonable amount of time to getting to know each other initially. Even if it results in delaying career issues or work, this will be beneficial in the long run.
The easiest way to build rapport between the mentee and mentor is to share professional stories. With this, the mentee gains invaluable insights from a different and more experienced frame of reference. In contrast, mentors get to know about their mentees, which helps them figure out how to tailor their advice in the best manner.
Discuss Mentoring Topics
Due to the time crunch, you may not get into specific topics in your first mentoring meeting. However, you can come up with topics for discussion in your following meeting to help achieve the mentee’s goals.
The choice of topic for mentees flows directly from their goals. Once the mentor gets to know their mentee, it becomes easier for them to choose the issues. Then, as a mentor, you come up with your experiences.
Here are some topics for discussion that are worth covering in a mentoring meeting:
The mentor can offer valuable advice in the conversations related to career development as they have likely gone through a similar obstacle that the mentee is facing in their career. The mentors have robust organizational knowledge and help the mentees to gain exposure and experience in a specific direction. The mentors can ask questions prompting the mentees to think about their career paths and their current positions. It helps understand what kind of advice or guidance will be valuable for the mentee.
Giving or receiving a piece of situational advice is another meeting topic. As mentors have more industry experience, they can talk about specific situations and ask them for advice. It is a good idea to build situational advice into each meeting agenda for the mentoring meeting. Always delegate some time to discuss a roadblock or an issue the mentee has been facing.
This topic can help with particular job competencies such as feedback on a campaign for a marketer, code for a software engineer, or design for a designer. Think about what skills you want to gain as a mentee and which ones require you to focus on developing the most. Besides, it is an excellent opportunity for mentors to assess the overall performance of the mentees and help them by directing them to the right resource.
As a mentee, it is vital to be open to constructive criticism and feedback. You must keep in mind that your mentor is putting energy and time into helping you realize your goals and has your best interest at heart for you. Whether you receive positive or negative feedback, it is for your benefit only. Keep an open mind and consider them.
Set Initial Expectations
It is recommended to create a structured accountability process. The mentee should set expectations by making a clear ask of the mentor, showing what you are looking for. The mentor and mentee should tell what they expect from each other in the mentoring relationship. Also, they must figure out a meeting schedule and verbalize the goals of the meeting.
Ensure that you are setting expectations for your mentorship as a mentor. Explain to your mentee to work if they want results and see progress. Ask them to come prepared for every meeting and share the schedule in advance, so you both can have an efficient and productive conversation.
Tips for Your Next Mentor Meeting
Here are some tips for applying in the next mentoring meeting:
Prepare Ahead of Time
For a meeting to be effective, preparation is the key. Prepare the meeting agenda in advance as a mentee and send it to your mentor. They must also do their work to understand their mentor’s professional background and specialities. As a mentor, prepare questions for the mentee to know how to act as the best role model.
Set Objectives and Milestones
The mentor and mentee need to collaborate to set objectives that they can work towards together. The mentor should think about how they guide mentees towards their career development goals, and the mentee should focus on areas or skills they want to enhance and develop. Achieving set milestones at each mentoring meeting helps to track progress.
Follow Through and Follow Up
In the mentee-mentor relationship, both must hold each other responsible. It means having a follow-up of previous meetings or discussions. Create action items and assign them to one another at the end of each session. It is a great way to follow through with the plans and track the progress. You both should be willing and able to hold each other responsible for the commitments.
Mentoring relationships are collaborative, beneficial, and reciprocal to both the mentee and the mentor. With a structured approach and a meeting agenda prepared in advance, you both can have a productive mentoring meeting with fruitful results.