Are you interested in career mentoring? | Are you planning to organize a mentoring program? | Would you want to have a mentor? | Would you want to become a mentor? | Career mentoring phases and material
You can also download the diagram above here: Mentoring process diagram (PDF).
This page includes descriptions of different mentoring phases, and related supporting material for mentors and mentees. If your organisation is arranging a mentoring programme, you can find suitable supporting material on the For organisers page.
The mentoring process starts with the mentor and mentee getting to know each other. Confidential interaction is built from the very first meeting. The first meeting is particularly important, and you should prepare for it properly.
The mentee must think about their personal goals for working life, and what they want to discuss. The mentor must also prepare for mentoring by examining mentoring goals and the shared set of rules, and by considering what they want to share and what they want to get out of mentoring meetings.
The mentor and mentee should get to know each other slowly, as this helps to build confidential interaction and to understand the other person’s perspectives. Useful questions include:
- What would you like to say about yourself?
- Why did you decide to participate in mentoring?
- What is important to you?
- What skills do you have?
- What goals do you have for working life in the future?
You can use the lifeline exercise at your meeting (löydät tehtävän Mentoroinnin työkalut -pdf:stä, jonka voit ladata alempaa). In addition, the mentor and mentee must agree the goals, duration and rules of mentoring during their first meeting. These must also be entered in the mentoring agreement.
The goals of the mentoring process are built around the mentee’s personal goals. The mentee must present their personal goals at the first meeting, on the basis of which goals are discussed and defined mutually for mentoring. It is important to define mutual goals to ensure both the mentor and mentee understand the purpose of their meetings. However, the goals can be specified during the mentoring process. Possible mentoring goals include identifying the mentee’s skills, rules of working life and networking.
A shared set of rules must be defined for mentoring, and all agreed matters must be entered in the mentoring agreement. The mentor and a mentee must agree meeting principles, responsibilities, boundaries and discussion topics. They must also agree concrete practical arrangements such as when and where to meet, and how to maintain contact (by email or phone for example). At the beginning of the process, it is also good to discuss how to give feedback, and when to assess the mentoring process.
The mentor and mentee should return to the mentoring agreement in the middle of the mentoring process, especially if the meeting goals have not become clear along the way. Agreed meetings can be planned in detail to ensure discussion topics are defined beforehand, or they can only be defined at each meeting to discuss current themes.
Download orientation material here: Orientation for mentees and mentors (PDF)
Download and print a mentoring agreement template here: Mentoring agreement: Mentoring agreement (PDF) Mentoring agreement (word)
Mentoring meetings should focus on serving the goals set for mentoring and the mentee’s needs. The mentor and mentee can mutually decide how and how often they want to meet, and what they will do during mentoring meetings.
Before each meeting, agree what you will focus on during your next meeting, and whether the mentee needs to do something beforehand.
Interaction between the mentor and mentee is most productive when both are genuinely present. When the mentoring process is built through discussion, the mentor and mentee are engaged in dialogue and an equal interactive relationship.
Mentoring tools developed as discussion aids help to build dialogue and interaction. They are easy to use, because the mentoring process phase and goals have already been defined in them.
Download mentoring tools here: Mentoring tools (PDF).
In addition to using ready-made tools, the following assignments can be included in meetings:
- Visiting the mentor’s workplace
- Identifying different recruitment channels and ways of finding a job
- Improving the mentees job application, CV and any LinkedIn profile
- Reading and practising professional vocabulary together
- Practising job interviews
Meetings can be built according to the following structure:
- Catching up and current matters
- How are you today?
- What has happened since the previous meeting?
- What is this meeting’s goal?
- Discussing a theme
- Working on a theme you have agreed to discuss. You can use ready-made tools as a discussion framework.
- Ending a meeting
- How did we proceed towards our goals today?
- What did we learn, and when will we meet next?
- You also need to agree the next meeting’s theme.
What happens during a mentoring meeting? Watch a video:
Mentoring also has a conclusion. During the assessment phase, you should stop to think what you have learned, and whether you met your expectations and goals. Assess your road together – the impact and benefits produced by mentoring. You should also consider what you could have done differently.
It is good to assess the mentoring process as a whole. Assessments and discussions can be based on the use of tools. Give feedback on mentoring to each other and agree further activities. In other words, when the mentoring process ends, consider the following questions with your mentoring partner:
- How will the mentee continue their development?
- Will you maintain contact after the mentoring process?
Be open and honest about your ideas and experiences for mentoring. A mutual conclusion to the mentoring process clearly defines how and when the process ends to ensure you can easily move forward.
Download and print a mentoring assessment template here: Closing the mentoring tool (PDF)