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Your First Meeting

Here are some tips for making the most of your first meeting as a mentoring pair.

Before the meeting

  • The mentor can review the mentee’s resume to gain a better understanding of the mentee’s professional background and professional objectives.
  • Review the online Handbook and The Mentoring Partnership website.
  • The mentor and mentee can have a conversation, individually or together, with the mentoring coach to discuss the match and explore any ideas s/he may have.
  • Review roles and expectations from the mentoring commitment.
  • Read over the Partnership Agreement and Code of Conduct that you received at the orientation session or from the mentoring coach.

At the meeting

  • Take time to get to know each other. Share professional and personal histories, find similarities and differences. Mentors can cover specific information on what they do at work and what their position means in the organization.
  • Discuss logistics, such as
    • best time of day or week to get in touch. A recurring meeting time often works best
    • a convenient place to meet
    • how long to wait if someone doesn’t show up for a scheduled meeting
    • best method for keeping in touch between meetings
    • what’s expected between calls or visits
  • Set boundaries for the mentoring relationship. Discuss and seek clarity about
    • whether it is okay to discuss emotional issues and how
    • whether it is okay for the mentor to offer feedback on professional norms about clothing, grooming, nonverbal communication
    • whether it is appropriate to address language issues
    • whether it is appropriate to discuss behaviours that each of you may find offensive
  • Discuss confidentiality. Be very specific about things which you feel should stay confidential: please be mindful that the concept of confidentiality may vary significantly between cultures
  • Discuss challenges or barriers to meeting such as travel and child care
  • Decide what you want to achieve together and set priorities given the time frame and scope of your roles
  • Sign the Partnership Agreement 

At the end of the meeting

You should go away with
  • the feeling that you know more about your mentee/mentor
  • an agreement on your learning goals and priorities
  • a few meetings booked in advance
  • an action plan for your first two or three meetings
  • a task, or tasks, for the mentee to work on between meetings