Guidelines for Learners
As a Learner, you are in the driver seat for your mentoring relationships. Here are our guidelines on how to schedule, prepare for and participate in the mentoring sessions, so that both you and the Mentor get the most out of your mentoring sessions.
Be proactive in scheduling mentoring sessions
It is your responsibility to schedule the sessions with your Mentor and to plan the agenda for your discussions.
Be flexible in the scheduling, but clear about the desired frequency of mentoring sessions
If you have found a Mentor with whom you have a good relationship and you decide to meet on a regular basis, create a schedule for these meetings, but don’t make it too rigid – decide in the beginning on frequency and duration, rather than on fixed dates and times. In practice, a guideline for how often to meet (e.g. once every 2 weeks for the next 4 months, or once per month for the next 6 months) works much better than a rigid schedule such as “every second Thursday at 6 pm”. This gives you more flexibility for scheduling each mentoring session, while still being clear about the frequency of the meetings.
Prepare for the mentoring sessions
Send your Mentor in advance an agenda of what you would like to discuss in the mentoring session. That helps them prepare and your session will be more focused and productive. The agenda has to make clear what topic you want to discuss and should ideally contain a short list of questions that you want to address on that topic.
Set a clear goal or problem to address
Whether you have just one meeting or regular meetings with a Mentor, set a goal that you’re trying to achieve or a specific problem you want to address. Being aligned with your Mentor in your understanding of what you are trying to achieve will make your relationship much more productive. If you have several meetings with your Mentor, measure and discuss your progress towards the goal in every meeting.
Expect to be guided rather than given direct solutions
State your concrete challenges and problems, but don’t expect your Mentor to solve them for you. Your Mentor will give you concrete advice and guide you on your path to finding your own solution.
Share information openly with your Mentor
Share with your Mentor the information he/she needs to help you achieve your goal. Your relationship with your Mentor is based on trust, and if you’re not willing to share with them the whole truth about the situation you are in, they won’t be able to help you.
Have multiple Mentors
This way you will get several different perspectives on the challenges you are facing. Plus, having Mentors who are specialized in different areas will help you grow in all those areas.