Choosing development goals and how to attain and evaluate them is key to making the most of your commitment.
At the second meeting, together choose several development activities to accomplish. To do this, it is crucial that the mentee has explored their personal vision and articulated specific goals to the mentor.
These development goals should be incorporated into your regular meeting agendas and can include:
- Talking together about past experiences, goals, plans, skills, career paths, problem solving strategies. Using Active Listening skills is beneficial.
- Attending meetings, workshops, conferences and other events together with follow-up discussion.
- Working together on tasks or even a project which allows opportunity for the mentor to role model skills and techniques for managing projects and handling challenging situations. Again, follow-up discussion is key.
- Exchange and discuss written materials or co-author a publication.
Meetings are meant to share, discuss, and review the chosen development activities. A meeting agenda should include the following elements:
- Review: progress made, successes to celebrate, tasks undertaken to meet development goals.
- Challenges: situations and feelings about them.
- Specific goals/topics for this meeting.
- Key learnings from this meeting.
- Follow-up actions: mentee and mentor.
- Reflection: wrap back around to review and challenges above.
- Next meeting date, location and tentative topic(s).
- Example of a Meeting Framework/Agenda (PDF)
- Dialogue prompts for the Mentor (PDF)
- Active Listening Skills (PDF)
- Example of a Progress Check (PDF)
Schedule progress checks periodically throughout the established timeframe of the relationship. These can be incorporated into to your regularly scheduled meetings. Every two to three months is ideal. Continual assessment involves both the mentor and mentee asking themselves the following important questions throughout the mentoring process:
- What goals or objectives are we currently attempting to address?
- What goals or objectives remain?
- What level of success have we attained thus far in the process?
- Are we headed in the right direction? Will the further accomplishment of our initial goals and objectives take us where we want to go?
- What changes or adjustments to our original plan are needed?
- Have we discovered a previously unidentified goal or objective?
Review the example of the progress check for a more tangible framework to then modify for your specific needs.