Having the first meeting
Mentoring potentially benefits both mentor and mentee and therefore the College.
A good first meeting sets the scene for forthcoming meetings.
In this first meeting, both parties should consider the following aspects:
The first meeting is an opportunity to get to know each other a bit and establish the beginnings of a productive relationship. Exchange of information and seeing connections and differences can be useful at this stage and may include the following topics:
- Existing roles
- Career paths to date
- What inspires or excites you about your role/career path
- Previous experiences of mentoring either as a mentor or a mentee
Expectations of mentoring and each other:
An explicit conversation about expectations reduces the possibility of misunderstandings later. It enables an agreed understanding to emerge about the purpose of mentoring, what each expects of the other and how best to make it work. The following are possible areas for discussion:
- What the mentee is wanting from mentoring and what the mentor is able to offer?
- How mentoring is different from line management or supervision and how that boundary will be managed?
- Preferred ways of learning and giving/receiving feedback.
- How the mentoring meetings will run
- How and when to review progress, consider if mentoring is working and plans for ending of the relationship
This will include:
- Frequency and duration of meetings
- Confidentiality – boundaries and limits
- Process for arranging meetings
- Managing cancellation/missed meetings
- Communication between meetings
By the end of the first meeting there should be a common understanding of the areas you are most likely to discuss, how you will work together and a clear agreement about how to communicate with each other.