Plan your mentoring sessions with practical step-by-step tips.
Usually, mentor and mentee meet once a month. In the beginning of the process, the sessions could be organised more frequently, every 2-3 weeks, until the mentoring couple get to know and build a stronger relationship.
From 60 to 120 minutes is a good time frame that allows both participants to remain focused.
A general answer to this question does not exist. Some mentorship couples prefer to always meet at the same place, while others prefer to change their meeting places. Some mentors and mentees choose to meet on the “neutral ground” – outside their offices, while others prefer to meet at their workplaces.
Sometimes, a walk in the park can be an excellent solution! It is crucial that a meeting place is quiet enough to enable a constructive and undisturbed conversation, and of course – that both mentor and mentee feel comfortable.
For mentorship couples that live in different parts of the world, communication can also take place virtually (for example, via Skype, Google Hangouts, and similar platforms).
For a mentee, it could be useful to make a few quick notes during the mentoring session. This will enable process documentation and progress tracking. Mentor’s notes, for example, could be a question (s)he would like to ask without interrupting the discussion, or ideas that come to his/her mind while listening to the mentee.
However, even though taking notes could be useful, overdoing it could lead to reduced interaction.
Mentors should be approachable and encourage their mentees to feel comfortable to contact them between the sessions if they have any questions or dilemmas.
Mentees have an advantage in defining the focus and topic of the upcoming session, unless otherwise agreed. For example, the mentee could send an email to his/her mentor with a topic proposal a few days before the session.
This way, the mentor will have enough time to prepare and reflect on the topic, while the mentee will be more focused and attentive during the session.
The first, as well as the final session between a mentor and a mentee, are specifically explained on the page “Mentoring process”.