Practices for mentoring meetings
- Getting to know each other
- Discussing the process and setting the objectives
- Completing the mentoring agreement (see below)
- Booking the next mentoring meetings
- Agreeing on the preparations for the next meeting
Mentor, Aalto University Mentoring Programme
Be brave and create a mentoring relationship that looks like yourself!
A mentoring agreement builds a good foundation for a successful mentoring relationship. It should be done at the beginning of the programme either orally or in writing. The most important thing is not the form of the mentoring agreement but the clarification of the responsibilities, duties and tasks for both parties in the process. Mentoring agreement is an oral or written document between the mentor and the actor.
It is good to agree on the following matters in the mentoring agreement:
Objectives for mentoring
The objectives for the upcoming mentoring season are set together. For some the objectives may already be clear while others may need support in working on them. An open and confidential discussion and utilising the strengths of both parties become key.
Topics and themes to be covered; even the ones you don't want to discuss
Confidentiality of discussions
Frequency of meetings
In order to develop and maintain a trustworthy relationship, it is recommended that the mentoring pairs meet approximately once a month during the programme. It is a good idea to schedule the future meetings at the very beginning since lack of time is the most common stumbling block. You should always stick to the agreed times, because rescheduling the meetings weakens the mutual trust and commitment to the mentoring process.
Duration of a meeting
You should reserve enought time for the meetings. Discussions usually take from one to two hours. Sufficient time enables diving deep into the discussion theme. On the other hand, too long a meeting can distract concentration, especially in online meetings.
Meeting place and arrangements
Meeting place sets the tune for discussions and it should be calm. You can meet in a cafe, restaurant or on campus - a lowkey environment create relaxed environment for the conversations. Instead of sitting down, you can try exchanges ideas while taking a walk, excersing together or visiting an exhibition.
It is also advisable to agree how the costs of the meeting will be paid (for example, if you meet in a cafe).
Preparations for meetings
We recommend you agree on the preparations for the next meeting each time you meet. The actor can, for example, email the mentor their questions or themes for conversation beforehand, so the mentor will have time to prepare for the meeting. Some pairs may choose to engage in more informal and unstructured conversations. Nevertheless, it is important that the actor reflects on the discussion themes before the meetings, in order for the meetings to run smoothly.
Method and frequency communication between meetings
Below you will find a simple template for a mentoring agreement.
Topics for meetings
Ideas for discussions topics in the mentoring meetings