Once you have found a mentor and engaged with them to seek assistance and guidance in your career or personal life, it is important that you have an accountability plan, a document that can keep you on track with regard to the goals that you want to achieve between meetings with your mentor.
The first step when you meet with your mentor is to map out an overall goal of what you want to achieve throughout your mentoring relationship. You should talk about the timeframes within which you want to achieve certain goals, the detail of the goals and the steps necessary to complete those goals.
You should also map out the framework for your regular conversations. This framework can be as simple as an agenda. As part of each meeting, you should consider recapping the goal that you are hoping to achieve, recap on the steps you have taken since the last meeting and then set the goals and intentions to achieve between this meeting and the next meeting. There should be a process and timeframe for feedback and guidance. You should map out clean milestones that you want to achieve throughout the mentoring program.
When you attend your meetings with your mentor, you should turn up ready to work. Be prepared to get straight into the discussions that you need to have so that you can maximise the time and the benefit that you have with your mentor.
If you do not have an appropriate structure around the goals you’re wanting to achieve and the process for your regular check-ins then you will find that you can become dissatisfied with the mentoring process. Particularly, if you are engaged in a paid mentorship, you might be questioning whether it is worth it if you are not achieving what you set out to achieve. You will become disillusioned with the process and start to feel like it is a waste of your time and your mentor’s time, if all you do when you get together is chat without much certainty and guidance. A structured program is far more beneficial to you and the mentor.
A final tip is to ensure that you have regular meetings booked in with your mentor. Find a day and time that works for both of you. Find a medium that works for both of you. Depending upon where you and your mentor are located, an in-person check-in is quite often far more beneficial than a check-in by telephone or Zoom.
However, in the current world in which we move, catch-ups by Zoom or other video conferencing facilities are more frequent and usually the done thing. You might find however for such an important process, and to get the most out of it, that an in-person meeting will always be far more beneficial.
A formal mentor / mentee relationship can be very rewarding for both parties involved. For you, the mentee, the process can assist you to move through the goals you have set and remain accountable to yourself.