How To Develop a Mentoring Plan

A mentoring plan is a way to better understand a relationship between a mentor and a mentee.Once you have been matched with your mentor or mentee, you can define your roles and guidelines for the relationship, such as meeting Frequency and location.They should describe goals and objectives.After you have established a plan, revisit it twice per year to make sure it stays on track.

Step 1: Take some time to get to know each other.

If you want to forge a positive relationship with your mentor or mentee, you should have the first meeting all about getting to know each other.Pick a place and time to meet.About 60 minutes is spent in casual conversation.Get to know each other by asking questions.If you want to know where your mentor is from, what they like to do in their spare time, and if they have any pets, ask them.

Step 2: Discuss desired outcomes for the relationship.

Establish the basic goals you will be working towards when you first start working together.These can be broad goals that you can narrow down later on.Increasing the speed at which the mentor learns their role and achieving competency are some of the goals for their relationship.

Step 3: Define each person’s responsibilities.

Determine what the relationship will involve by specifying what you and your mentor will be responsible for.There is no mistaking each person’s role if you state these responsibilities clearly.If you are the mentor, you might write, “I am responsible for seeking out opportunities and experiences to enhance my learning, communicating regularly with my mentor and reviewing my progress regularly.”

Step 4: How often will you meet with your mentor?

If you want, try to meet with your mentor 3-4 times over the course of 6 months.Good progress may be promoted in the first 1-2 years of your relationship if you meet more often.When you will meet again and the level of formality of your meetings are other things to consider.

Step 5: Write down the career goals of the mentor.

Clear objectives to work on can be created by identifying the mentee’s ultimate or major career goal.Discuss your career goals with your mentor and state your main objective of the mentorship plan.If you are the mentor, you should discuss the mentee’s career goals with them to help them develop their ideas and turn them into a definitive statement.You could write something like, “My ultimate goal is to become a tenured professor and move into an administrative role, such as dean or vice president.”

Step 6: Send short-term goals.

Things that the mentee would like to accomplish within the next 1, 2, 3, 5, or 10 years are included.List the short-term goals and the timelines for achieving them.You could write “earn a promotion within my first year of employment” or “Publish a book based on my research within 5 years.”

Step 7: Make a list of skills the mentor wants to work on.

Discuss what skills are important for the mentee’s success in their chosen field.Make a list of the skills and see how the mentee can work on them.If the mentee wants to develop their leadership skills, they can volunteer for special projects or committees, speak up more in meetings, and read books about leadership.If you are the mentor, you may want to suggest some skills that the mentee can use to their advantage.

Step 8: There are professional development events for the mentee to attend.

The plan should include any workshops, conferences, or other professional development events that may benefit the mentee.When the events are being held, and any important deadlines, such as a submission deadline for a conference paper, should be indicated.You could include in the mentorship plan something like, “Submit a proposal for the annual writer’s conference by January 15th.”

Step 9: It’s a good idea to introduce contacts that may benefit the person.

Introduce your mentee to other professionals if you are the mentor and they are attending the same meeting.An important goal for furthering their professional development and helping them to achieve their goals is to expand the mentee’s professional social circle.Say something like, “Hello, Dr. Carlson!”Did you meet George?He is our newest addition to human resources.

Step 10: They should check on their progress biannually.

Setting a schedule for regular progress reviews will help you make good progress.Evaluate your mentor every 6 months.If you are the mentor, suggest an evaluation every 6 months to be included in your plan.During 6 month reviews, have the mentor and the mentee revisit the mentorship plan, goals, and objectives to see what they have accomplished.If the mentee sets a goal to publish a paper by the end of the year, then there should be some evidence that they are moving towards that goal, such as the paper being accepted by a scholarly journal or at least having submitted it.If you are the mentor, make sure to give feedback and encouragement.You can make notes on what they have done and then write them in a letter.If you are struggling with any of your objectives, ask for help from your mentor and identify any goals that you have not made progress towards.

Step 11: As needed, make adjustments to the mentorship plan.

Changing goal completion dates, modifying goals, or adding new goals can be done after you and your mentor review the mentorship plan.The mentor’s notes from the review should be used to adjust the plan.If the mentee set a goal to attend 3 professional development workshops within the next year, but they have only found 2 suitable ones, then you might adjust the goal and consider it met.If the mentee has already accomplished one of their 2 year goals at the 1 year checkup, you might set a new goal for them to work towards.

Step 12: Have both parties sign the plan.

If you and your mentor are happy with the new plan, you can both sign it to make it official.Make sure that you both agree to the goals and objectives of the plan before you sign it.