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How to Prepare for Your First Mentoring Meeting with Your Mentor

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Your first mentoring meeting can be stressful. The first meeting is all about getting to know each other and gauging whether it's a good match. The better prepared you are, the more you will get out of it.

Here are some useful tips to make it more productive.

Meeting Practicalities

1. Make Contact and Set the Date

The mentee sets up the first meeting, so you have the option to either Request a Session to meet a prospective Mentor or to straightaway Request Mentoring.
Reach out to your mentor and set a date and time. If your mentor gives you permission, you can schedule your meeting right on MentorCloud. Ask your mentor if they would prefer to connect virtually or in-person.
To Schedule a Session, go to the Mentorship Tab and select View Relationship. You will see a button to propose a session.  Fill out the information for the session. If both parties have synchronized their calendars, you can set up a date and time for your session.
Ensure you have selected the correct time zones to avoid any confusion later.
Select a private place to meet where you can both share openly. Simply select Schedule and go to Session Location and select your preferred video conferencing tool or location. You can type in the address for a physical location within the Location details text box.

2. Background

Learn about your mentor’s background on MentorCloud. Your mentor might also have added a link to his/her LinkedIn profile for you to learn about their background and professional experience. 
What is their experience, achievements and interests? 

Have they mentored before? 
Read any announcement, insights or posts they have contributed on the Community tab.

3. Agenda

Send an agenda to your mentor a few days before your first meeting. This will help your mentor be better prepared.

Meeting Preparation

1. Who are you?

What do you want to share about yourself?
What are your strengths, values and achievements? 
What brings you joy and energizes you? 

2. Why do you want to be mentored?

Have a strong understanding of what you want from your Mentoring Journey. 
Do you have goals you want to achieve or anything specific you want to learn? 

3. What do you want to learn from your mentor?

Send an agenda to your mentor a few days before your first meeting. This will help your mentor be better prepared.

4. Parameters?

Think about how often you want to meet, how you want to communicate, and any needed boundaries.
You have the option to set up recurring meetings under Sessions. Simply tick the box “Make this a recurring session” when you create a Session.

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Up Next

How to Build a Relationship with Your Mentor

Good communication skills support strong mentoring relationships. 
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2 mins

Time you spend building rapport with your mentor will pay you back with deeper conversations and more meaningful mentoring. 

Here are the key components you need to build the relationship -

1. Confidentiality is the cornerstone of a mentoring relationship and essential for both you and your mentor.
Do not discuss anything your mentor shares with you outside of your meeting unless you get permission to do so. You can write private messages by going into a current Mentorship and clicking on the Messages tab – other mentors and mentees can’t see these interactions.

2. Building rapport and trust are essential. Here are some ways you can build trust:

  • Spend the first meeting getting to know each other. Don’t dive into problems and solutions too soon. 
  • Live up to your commitments. Keep track of your goals, tasks and notes in the Mentoring Relationship.
  • Be prepared to be vulnerable. Your mentor is not there to judge you.
  • Ask for and be open to frank feedback even when it’s uncomfortable to hear. 

3. Good communication skills support strong mentoring relationships. 

Sync your calendars so it’s easier to schedule meetings and avoid conflicts. Simply go to “Settings”, then click on “General Preferences” and “Connect Calendar” to connect with your desired calendar account.

It is also important to be conscious of how you’re communicating with your mentor, both verbally and non-verbally.

  • Maintain an open and relaxed posture. Turn your body towards your mentor.
  • Make eye contact if it is culturally acceptable.
  • Nod or make small affirmations to show you are actively listening. 
  • Ask questions. 

Maintaining confidentiality, building rapport and using effective interpersonal communication skills will help you build a strong relationship with your mentor so both of you benefit from the experience.