Confidentiality and trust
Mutual respect and trust are essential to an effective mentoring relationship.
These should be discussed at the first meeting to ensure that both of you are clear on what you expect from the relationship so that there aren’t any surprises later on.
Boundaries and limitations
There may be certain professional and personal areas that may not be appropriate or comfortable for discussion as part of the mentoring relationship. It is important that both mentor and mentee agree on what topics or areas that are off limits for discussion.
Frequency of meetings
This will be dependent on the availability and agreement of both mentor and mentee. At least one face to face meeting every month is appropriate.
Length of meetings
You should agree an approximate length to meetings that is suitable for both mentor and mentee. Try to avoid open-ended meetings, as these can leave meetings unfocused and lengthy!
Time of meetings
A time that is mutually convenient must be agreed, bearing in mind that there may be limiting factors on your meeting times e.g. caring responsibilities, working hours, transport times etc.
Location of meetings
It is important that you both meet in a location that you are both comfortable with and that is convenient. It is often best to find a neutral place or space to meet.
Setting an agenda
This is something that you may wish to use, but for some mentoring relationships it can be too formal. If you decide that using an agenda helps to structure your meetings more effectively, the mentee should set the agenda and send it to the mentor ahead of the meeting to ensure that both are happy and agree with the proposed agenda.
Both mentor and mentee are making a commitment to each other and both must respect the commitment that the other is making. That means, for example, not cancelling meetings at short notice if it can be avoided, preparing for meetings to get the most out of them, etc.
Ending the relationship
If the agreed time period for the relationship has come to an end or you think the time has come for the relationship to end, tell your mentor or mentee. In the case of CIT Induction Mentoring the relationship usually lasts one semester.
Reviewing the relationship
At the end of the mentoring relationship, look back over the time and discuss what went well and what you might do differently another time. Comment constructively on each other's handling of the role.