User Guides

What to Do in a Mentoring Meeting as a Mentor

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Having a structure can help you and your mentee make your time more productive. The format can be adapted to suit your requirements so there’s a natural flow. 

1. Feedback And Update 

Remind your mentee about confidentiality as well as any ground rules. 

Talk to your mentee about:

  • Feedback on their progress on the action plan. 
  • An update on what has happened in their work or personal life since you last met. 
  • Progress on what you committed to do since the last meeting.

2. Discussion

This is where you will spend the bulk of your time. Ask your mentee to go through the discussion points on their agenda, and identify the issues they want to discuss.

Example of prompting questions:

“What would be most useful for you to discuss today?”

“What would you like this session to focus on?” 

Ask questions to clarify the issues your mentee has presented; be sure you fully understand before moving on.

Guide your mentee to think about their issue more thoroughly. Ask open-ended questions to encourage them to think more deeply.

Example of prompting questions:

“What options have you considered?”

“What do you see as the pros and cons of each?”

You can then share some of your experiences and advice, if it's requested.

3. Close

Action Plan - Ask your mentee to put together an action plan of what they would like to work on before the next meeting. If needed, help them to think through options. Make a note of anything you could provide, such as an article or video, to help them.  Make sure you send them to your mentee.

Discuss and schedule your next meeting. Set up a recurring meeting if you mutually agree on a time that works for both of you. Finally, sincerely thank your mentee for their hard work.

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How to Reflect and Summarize

The ability to reflect on and summarize what your partner has said is part of being an active listener.
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2 mins

The ability to reflect on and summarize what your partner has said is part of being an active listener and will improve the effectiveness of your session. 

Reflect on what you hear -
Listen to your partner’s words and think deeply about it. Try to understand where they are coming from, what they mean and come up with your own ideas or thoughts on the subject. This shows your partner that you are listening and carefully considering what they have to say.

Observe –
You should also pay attention to non-verbal cues and behavior you see. You may say, “I noticed you looked down when you said that…”, or “It seemed like your voice softened when you mentioned that person. Is there something more you want to say about them?” 

Summarize -
Periodically, summarize what you have heard and check that it’s accurate. Summarizing and checking shows you’ve been listening and understanding what your mentoring partner has said. You may rephrase what they said and ask if it’s what they meant. It also helps you recollect important points they have mentioned or clarify anything that was unclear.

Give a shortened version of what you’ve heard by stating the key facts. Don’t try to interpret or add to it. Use this skill when you feel ideas are getting confusing, or when there seems to be more than one issue on the table.

You may use the Notes tab to summarize and keep track of any ideas or key points discussed during the Session so you have it handy for later. You may also refer to it before your next Session and keep track of your progress.