An effective mentee drives the mentoring relationship. It is your professional development program so you need to spend some time thinking about how you want to spend the time. Do you have specific goals or things you wish to achieve? Learning to articulate your needs is part of the process.
The mentee sets the agenda for each meeting. This might be three points or issues to be discussed. You may want to share your most recent performance review or other development plans.
The One2One Goal Setting cards are a tool to facilitate the first or second meeting. They are designed to help you identify and prioritise your personal and professional goals. Your mentoring meetings can then focus on discussing how to achieve your goals.
Question and Listen
Come with considered questions, be prepared to listen and ready to learn. Ask your mentor how they have approached certain issues or problems and how they managed important transitions in their lives. A valuable mentor is generous with their own experiences of success and failure.
Be open to feedback or fresh perspectives from your mentor. Sometimes you may just need a sounding board to test ideas and affirm a decision. Other times, you should be willing to be challenged and open to trying a different approach.
Mentoring is a relationship based on equity and respect. Although the mentor may be more experienced, it is a reciprocal relationship and both parties will be engaged and inspired.
Trust and confidentiality is an essential part of a successful mentoring relationship.
In a busy working life the opportunity to reflect on your performance, careers and to think more strategically about your future is a gift to yourself.
Action is the fundamental step that follows goal setting. Apply the learnings, trial different approaches and discuss your progress at the next meeting.
The small gesture of thanking people for their time, investment and interest is important.