The initial or “link up meeting” between Mentor/Mentee is a formal , first step in the establishment of a successful relationship.
Getting to know each other and establishing expectations for how you both plan to build your partnership are two critical activities that begin at your first meeting. You may wish to use the following "Mentoring Questions and tips for First Meetings" to guide your initial conversation.
Make a list. Preparing for your first meeting: Make a list of things that you would like to know if you were in the position of the person you will be meeting. Your list might include: information about you, about the organization, or position Statements about your expectations concerning the relationship. Your goals and objectives
Take the initiative. If you are the mentee, take the initiative to make the first call. Once you have a date and time, make sure you arrive on time and prepared. Only an emergency should alter your date. Remember, your mentor is doing this as an additional duty. Respect their time.
Create an agenda. This responsibility often falls more to the metor than mentee, but both parties may contribiute. As a minimum your agenda should include:
Introductions and getting to know each other logistics - how often you will meet, where and when. goals and expectations - come prepared, write these down. concerns that might interfere with your meeting together questions you have about each other why each of you thinks you can be a worthy mentor or mentee.
Listen deeply and ask powerful questions. The two skills that are essential for successful mentoring are (1) in-depth listening, that is, suspending judgment, listening for understanding and providing an accepting and supportive atmosphere; and (2) asking powerful questions, that is, questions that are challenging in a friendly way and questions that help the other person talk about what is important.
Plan for the next meeting. When you come to the end of a meeting, review your mutually developed agenda to determine progress, decide what the next meeting will cover, and plan the date, location and time.
Focus on wisdom. As a mentor, you are a resource, catalyst, facilitator, idea generator, networker, and problem-solver, but you are not necessarily a person with all the answers. You have experience and you have learned from those experiences, you role is less one in which you "tell" another person what to do or how to do it as it is one in which you question your mentee to find the answers through their own analysis. That way your mentee owns the outcome and learns from it.
Maintain and respect privacy, honesty, and integrity.
There are many guidelines for Mentees. Among the most important are: Be proactive in cultivating the mentor relationship. You will get out of it, what you put into it.
Treat the mentor relationship in a professional manner.
Contact the mentor to arrange for a first meeting and prepare yourself for the meeting.
Arrive on time for mentoring meeting. If you can't make it, give as much advance notice as possible.
Think about questions and or issues to discuss in advance of the meeting. Be willing to participate in an informal discussion about your profession, career goals, and desires from the relationship.
Provide some background about education, interests, hobbies, and work experiences.
Send a thank you note or follow-up with a phone call after initial meeting.