A mentoring relationship is based on a mutual understanding between the mentor and mentee. It should be based on mutual respect, trust and openness if it is to be successful.
It is best practice to have a written agreement between a mentor and a mentee – this allows you to be clear about what you want to achieve with your time together and the boundaries of your relationship.
Below is a mentor-mentee agreement that summarises the commitments of the mentor and mentee. We recommend that you adapt this for your own organisation.
As a mentee, I agree
- To work with my mentor to identify what I would like to achieve in terms of education and personal development.
- To try to achieve my goals with the support of my mentor.
- To always turn up for meetings on time.
- To be respectful of my mentor’s time, as I understand that she is a volunteer who is not being paid to support me.
As a mentor, I agree
- To work with my mentee to identify clear and realistic goals and actions needed to improve in her academic and personal development.
- To accompany my mentee in each step of the mentoring journey.
- To meet my mentee -<<meeting frequency of my organisation>>.
- To submit mentoring reports to <My organisation> as and when requested.
What do we want to accomplish together and how shall we use this time?
Here you can discuss what the mentee wants to get out of the session. You might find that she needs some suggestions. In our cultures, we often defer to authority – try to get her to decide by asking questions rather than providing answers.
What will we do to achieve this?
It’s important to ask this question separately – this is the first introduction to goal setting. You can use this as an opportunity to start to break down the steps needed to reach her goal, for example identifying that she needs to develop skills or achieve certain objectives on her path to her goal.
Make sure you both sign and date this – this is your commitment to each other.
Store it safely!
Some of these goals might be sensitive – it’s important that this document is not for public viewing – store this somewhere safely and securely.
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