How to conduct a kick-off event to launch your mentoring program

The goal of the kick-off event is to create excitement, engagement and a clear outline for the mentoring program.

Communication is key in mentorship programs for the program manager, mentor, and mentees.

 

And it starts with the program manager. To set your mentors and mentees up for success, you can follow the below outline:

  1. Create a calendar event with a video call link and invite the mentors and mentees who are participating in the program.
  2. Start the Kick-off with a program welcome
  3. Introduction of who are running the program (POC for the program)
  4. Introduction of the Teams/Slack channels if they're created
  5. Program Goals review
  6. Roles & Expectations
    1. Duration of the Program
    2. Biweekly or Monthly meetings
    3. Support areas
    4. 4 steps to mentoring
      1. Establish the foundation in early meetings
      2. Built trust and create conversational safety
      3. Be deliberate about the development process
      4. Neutralize mentoring relationship challenges
  7. Cases (2 for mentees, 2 for mentors - Q&A s through chat)
    1. Mentor Case: After the first meeting with Brad, Jason realizes that they’re in completely different worlds and that alignment would be difficult. How could Jason bridge the gap to move the mentoring relationship forward? (speak other person's language, understand their world). 
    2. Mentor Case: Jack’s mentee Stephanie has stopped making progress. Jack’s goal was to help her with her consultative approach with her client accounts. However, even after consuming the training content to become consultative, Stephanie is still shy about recommending the customer about best practices. How Jack move the mentoring relationship forward when Stephanie is not taking risks? (build trust and evaluate what would happen if failed)
    3. Mentee Case: Chris wants to bring up challenges to his mentor, Angela, however, he seems to be receiving a lot of advice, which on the surface looks right to Chris but it feels wrong, how could Angela improve her mentoring approach (by listening but instead of giving the right answer, asking the mentee open-ended questions to guide them towards the answer)
    4. Mentee Case: John wants to share some information about his goals however when sharing background information, he felt that his mentor Oscar didn’t really respect his role or importance in the company. Now John is reluctant to share, which is halting the mentoring relationship. What could they do differently (if John feels like Oscar is in a place to listen and hear him out, it’s helpful that John voices this respectfully to see how they could move forward)
  8. Breakouts (Ice breaker, 1 Good Question for their mentor, goals & expectations)
    1. Ice Breaker exercise
      1. What is your favorite item you’ve bought this year?
      2. If you had to delete all but 3 apps from your smartphone, which ones would you keep?
      3. What would your dream house be like?
      4. What sport would you compete in if you were in the Olympics?
      5. What’s your favorite tradition or holiday?
      6. What is your favorite breakfast food?
      7. What is your favorite dessert?
      8. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
      9. If you could choose any two famous people to have dinner with who would they be?
      10. If you could have someone follow you around all the time, like a personal assistant, what would you have them do?
    2. Backgrounds, why joining the mentorship program, goals, expectations review
  9. Mentee - Mentor breakout rooms to get to know each other and set for success
  10. Platform Demo
  11. Mentor Training shortened:
    1. Sets direction for conversations (with meaningful questions)
    2. Allows mentee to track progress
    3. Guides growth experiments
    4. Targets need for new thinking and  behaving
    5. Actionable links to real work scenarios
  12. Outline of the program
    1. Next steps (next meeting topic)
    2. Resources for mentoring relationship steps, meeting outline, goals coming