What needs to take place to make meetings effective?
The structure of the mentoring meetings will vary according to the mentor’s professional judgement and the needs of the mentee.
The following format could be used to structure meetings
- Reflect on events since the last meeting (i.e. what happened and consequently what did the individual learn and think and how did the individual behave, what was learned from this and how will the individual use this learning in the future)
- Discuss any issues of concern
- Review progress on previous action points
- Address the pre-planned topic
- Agree action points to be addressed before the next meeting
- Develop and revise any action plans agreed
- Review how well the partnership is working
- Arrange the date of the next meeting.
As the relationship winds down, both parties can review
- What they expected to achieve
- What they actually achieved
- What else they learned on the way
- How they will use what they have learned in future developmental relationships.
It is important that the mentor demonstrates the skills of effective listening, use of questions, giving constructive feedback and observation.
What records should be kept of meetings?
The mentor and mentee need to agree the format for keeping a record of the meeting, which will assist in helping them learn from experiences and review actions taken. The mentee is responsible for storing any documentation.Examples of pro formas are given in Appendix 1.
The mentoring diary
The diary can be used to keep a note of the contacts made between mentor and mentee, i.e. formal meetings and informal contacts.
The personal learning plan
The progress review
The mentee can use the progress review to set out the agenda for the meeting, record the key discussion points and learning, and to write down the actions that they have decided to take.
The aim is to encourage a planned approach to learning, where the mentee identifies clear goals, that are realistic, achievable and time limited. The plan is owned by the mentee and if this requires resources or time it is the responsibility of the mentee to agree the support required with their immediate line manager.