Drive careers, skills and inclusion through mentorship, coaching and learning.
Once a mentor and mentee have been matched, the mentor will contact the mentee to initiate the first meeting.
Just as first impressions are important, the first mentoring meeting is critical for building rapport and is considered the start to developing a successful mentoring relationship.
How to Start a Mentoring Relationship:
You want to show your mentee or mentor that you are invested in them and the mentoring relationship.
Therefore, it is highly important that both parties prepare for the first meeting discussions.
Below are some points that will help both parties prepare for the first session:
For the mentee, further research on the reasoning for mentoring and goals you have should be prepared to share in the first session. Consider the following:
A successful mentoring relationship is built on trust, and people tend to trust those that they like.
So, the first meeting should be dedicated to building rapport, learning about each other, discussing personal and professional history, and looking for common ground. Topics and questions, you can focus on to get to know each other can be:
A big part of establishing rapport, is setting expectations.
Here you could discuss any preconceived ideas you may have about the role of a mentor or mentee, and your expectations of the relationship. The following questions can provide a basis for discussion on setting expectations:
Review The Mentoring Agreement
Setting expectations will clarify the terms to the ‘mentoring agreement’ which will underpin your mentoring relationship.
The mentoring agreement is a term of reference that sets out the expectations and boundaries for both parties, so that there is a shared purpose and responsibility.
This should be reviewed regularly (e.g. every 6 months)
With a structured approach to preparation, building rapport, setting expectations, and establishing a mentoring agreement, you are setting stone for a strong mentoring relationship.