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What to do in a Mentoring Meeting as a Mentee

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Mentoring works best with a structure. After having mentored thousands of people across many countries, we’ve developed a tested structure. 

A structure will help both you and your mentor make your meetings more productive. Discuss the format with your mentor and ensure it suits them as well.

1. Feedback And Update (10 Minutes)

  • Do a time check. “We scheduled an hour for this meeting. Does that still work for you?”
  • Describe your progress-to-date.
  • Keep track of the time.

2.Discussion (30 minutes)

Spend most of your time on the Discussion. Your mentor may ask questions to help you think more deeply about your options. Don’t just ask for advice straight away; explore the possibilities. This is your time to have an in-depth discussion. After you’ve thought through the options, you can ask your mentor to share their experiences and advice. 

3. Close (20 minutes)

Review your tasks and goals with new timelines. Make edits if necessary.

  • Discuss each action. Do you understand them?
  • Do a reality check. Is your plan doable given other constraints? Update your goals to be realistic.
  • Determine when and where you will meet next. Set up a recurring meeting if you mutually agree on a time that works for both of you. Make sure this is in both of your calendars. Set an agenda, sync your Calendars, select your preferred video conferencing tool or choose a location for meetings.
  • Thank your mentor.

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Why Get a Mentor?

Having a mentor as a guide in your professional life will benefit you in so many ways.
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Having a mentor as a guide in your professional life will benefit you in so many ways. 

  1. Safe space: Having a safe, confidential space to explore your purpose, goals and career progress can help you stay on track or correct your trajectory. Your mentor will provide a non-judgemental environment for you to explore and learn. 
  1. Learn: Typically, your mentor will have deep experience in your field and wants to share their knowledge, experiences and stories with you. They can be an objective 3rd party.
  1. Challenge: Your mentor can challenge and ask you thought-provoking questions. Unlike your line manager, who is responsible for the team mission, your mentor can focus just on you. They have your best interests at heart and will challenge you to think more deeply and broadly, help you set goals and tasks to achieve them and offer support along the way.
  1. Role model: Your mentor can serve as a role model and sounding board for you.
  1. Network: Your mentor may have a large network of contacts. Over time, as your mentor gets to know and trust you, they may be willing to introduce you to others; however, this requires time and trust. Don’t ask for introductions too quickly. Establish your relationship with your mentor and let the introductions come organically.