Framework curated by Erin Wynn, Manager of Education and Evaluation at MindFrame Connect
Mentorship, like any relationship or team building, occurs in stages. Approaching the opening and closing of the mentorship with care ensures you and your mentee will share expectations, goals, and be able to debrief the experience with each other to continue to improve.
Before beginning the mentorship, review any program materials from your mentorship coordinator and ensure you have a clear vision for what you can offer as a mentor, both in topic areas and availability.
With your mentee, identify what they are hoping this mentorship will look like; how often do they want to meet? Are they looking for guidance on specific skill areas or business expertise? Clarify the details of the mentorship.
If you are taking part in a program through an accelerator or third party, the coordinator may provide exact details on the mentorship timeline
Create a shared understanding of expectations, goals, and needs with your mentee
Some mentees and mentors like to use a “mentorship agreement” laying out the exact parameters of their time together
Opening a mentorship is a great time to get to know your mentee beyond their business, so you are better able to support the whole entrepreneur.
Mentorships may close because a program has a specific timeline, the needs of the mentee have been met, the needs of the mentee have shifted, or you feel you are no longer able to support the mentee on their journey
The end of a mentorship offers you and your mentee the opportunity to recognize areas of growth and learning in your time together
Closings allow you to evaluate how you worked to meet mentee goals, what was particularly helpful to them about the mentorship, and whether there were challenges in the process
Ensure you mark your closings with respect and care as your mentee (and you!) transition out of a formal mentorship relationship
We draw these best practices from the first-hand experience of program managers like you and our own expertise. This white paper is a comprehensive guide that will be your roadmap to building a world-class mentoring program.