Tips for Meeting your Mentee for the First Time
Being someone’s mentor need not feel overwhelming or burdensome. As with any relationship, it is important to start right. Here are some tips for your first mentorship meeting.
1. Come prepared
Why do you want to mentor someone, anyway? What’s in it for you? Your reasons need not be profound nor earth-shatteringly noble. So long as you have a sincere desire to share your time and expertise to guide someone in their development, that is good enough.
Think about your reasons for wanting to be a mentor before you meet your mentee for the first time. This will remind you of why you’re doing this in the first place.
2. Assess your mentoring style and skill…
How are you as a mentor? What are your tendencies? What are your strengths? What are you good or even excellent at?
If you have mentored someone before, how did it go? What did you learn about yourself? What would you continue doing? How would you do things better this time?
You might not have answers to all these questions but it’s good to think about them.Picture situations in your head that you might encounter on your mentoring journey.
3. … But be flexible!
As the saying goes, “Be stubborn about your goal, but be flexible about your methods.”
4. Iron out the logistics
How often should you and your mentee meet? How do you touch base? How will you communicate?
Be honest about what works for you and set guidelines together with a win-win mindset. Be forthcoming but flexible. Mentorship is a give-and-take relationship.
5. Commitment is key
Once you and your mentee have agreed on guidelines, set your mind to commit to them. Set your mind to honor your promises. Verbalize these to your mentee. Hearing yourself say these commitments out loud will give them more weight and will compel you to follow through.
6. Enjoy being a mentor
Being a mentor can be challenging, but it is worth it when both you and your mentee are committed to succeed. Anticipate challenges and look forward to seeing your mentee develop under your guidance and counsel. You’re on your way!