What is a mentoring plan?
A mentoring plan is a specific document a mentee uses to facilitate discussions with their mentors. It helps keep the relationship moving forward and makes sure that benefit is provided for both the mentee and the mentor.
Why create a mentoring plan?
A mentor relationship is fragile, especially at the beginning. Typically a mentor relationship consists of someone earlier in their career and someone with more experience. Without a roadmap to guide the relationship, there is the high likelihood the mentor will not see value in continuing the relationship. Therefore, it's critical that the mentee do everything in his or her power to make sure that the relationship starts off on the right foot and progresses from there.
Who creates the mentor plan?
A mentoring plan is something that the mentee should put together and share with the mentor right from the onset. Beyond defining the relationship, showing the plan will give the mentor the confidence that the mentee is taking the relationship seriously. This will also help the mentor with expectations ; specifically, that the mentee will not expect too much from the mentor, and those expecations can bef addressed right from the start of the relationship.
Elements of a mentoring plan
A mentor plan is flexible based on the needs of the mentee. Below are some elements the mentee should think about including in the plan.
- Overall goals of the relationship
- Objectives of the mentor and mentee
- Frequency of mentor meetings
- Process for communicating outside meetings
- Confidentiality expectations
- When/how to review progress
Even if you currently are the mentee in a mentor relationship but do not have a mentoring plan, I highly recommend creating one. Regardless of how long you have been in the relationship, it will be appreciated by your mentor and will help the relationship moving forward. If you are currently looking for a mentor, this plan can help you identify what your needs are and who you should target as your mentor.