Planning a Mentorship

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Mentorship is an inherently open-ended process. It lasts as long as both mentor and mentee want it to. Mentorship often takes place as part of a mentorship program or focuses on projects of specific duration such as a mentee's first year at a university. The mentor’s and the mentee’s needs help develop a structure to define roles.

Most mentorships are embedded in the framework of a program. These programs take from some months to a year. Most have clear expectations, how regularly mentor and mentee should meet or communicate. Also mentors and mentees have intentions, how many resources they can give into the mentorship, how regularly they can meet, which intensity and medium of communication they prefer.

1. Clarifying General Goals and Expectations

The begin is always an adventure for mentor and mentee alike. You may find yourself thinking of many different thoughts at once as you get to know the other person in your mentoring pair. See as well: Checklist: Preparing a Mentoring Meeting.

  • What do you as a mentor look for in becoming part of a mentorship?
  • What are the goals of you, mentee?
  • What are the requirements of the mentoring program?
  • Good documentation makes these important points accessible later

2. Reflecting the Conditions

A first orientation give the outside conditions (obligatory meetings or deadlines) for a mentoring-program, the meetings of mentees and mentors, occupation of mentees and mentors like events, vacation, business trips, phases of intensive work).

  • Draw a timeline
  • Complete it with all these important things

3. Mentor's and Mentee's Wishes

Then talk about the "nice to haves" in terms of

  • number of meetings
  • frequency of meetings

4. Operationalization

  • Have a look on the milestones of the mentee's activities and orientate your mentoring planning on them
  • Clarify the responsibilities for keeping the mentoring ongoing
  • Check how realistic this all is.

5. Documentation

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