User Guides

Why Get a Mentor?

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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. 

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What to Do in a Mentoring Meeting as a Mentor

Having a structure can help you and your mentee make your time more productive.
2 mins

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.