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first mentor meeting questions

First off, congratulations on finding a mentor. To break the ice, have your mentor tell a story from his or her own career. Meeting with a potential mentor can lead to a game-changing relationship -- but the onus is on you, the entrepreneur, to ask the right questions. For example, a mentee who is launching their own food truck might say something like: “I want to share my love for authentic Cajun food with my community.”. 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Below are four types of questions to ask your mentor, along with 10 related examples for each type. So rather than add another mentor to your network, here’s a different challenge: Revive an existing mentorship by preparing thoughtfully for each session with your mentor. Toth adds that during your first meeting, you should “formally set up your communications plan, or how and how often you will communicate with each other. How did you land your current role? After all, the mentor-mentee relationship is just that: a relationship. Ask your mentor to tell a story from his or her career. Questions to Ask a Mentor. • I have been asked to facilitate a team-building activity at a staff retreat. Before the meeting, think about what you want to learn from the mentor. 1. Below is a list of suggested questions, which have been offered by our existing mentors. Most entrepreneurs come into that meeting fully energised, with a lot of ideas. Can you tell me about a time when you had a difficult boss? Both parties want to make a good first impression. Guidelines for the First Mentor/Mentee Session. • What new skills do I need to move ahead? Some questions to consider: 1. At the first meeting 9 years ago – Share on Twitter – Share on Facebook – Share via Email; Posted on June 27th, 2011 by Maggie Castrey. Now that you’ve tackled the first five questions with your mentee, the answer to this question should reveal itself much more easily. These questions should ensure the most important things get discussed during each meeting. With these four types of questions and their accompanying examples, you’ll never sit through another mentoring conversation wondering if the other person is finding the discussion useful. The problem with this tendency is that while your mentee may boast a phenomenal work ethic, if they are not focusing their hard work on the right things, they will be very limited in their progress. Before meeting with your mentor, ask yourself what your biggest challenge is at the moment. Was there ever a job position that you applie… • What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned and how has it proven invaluable? Check-in time. Discuss the goals you agreed upon at the outset of the program. What are they naturally good at doing? What are your most significant accomplishments since we last met? And, they should help both you and the employee prepare in advance of your meeting. Ask your mentor to tell a story from his or her career. At your first meeting, let your mentor know you’ll be tracking success and stay committed to it. • Can we role-play asking for a raise and a promotion? People have a natural tendency to focus on the things that they do best (i.e. The first meeting with your mentee is an opportunity to start building your relationship and identifying subjects that warrant further discussion. Provide context to help your mentor understand you. Jo Miller is a globally renowned authority on women’s leadership. Ask your mentee for a short bio to introduce themselves. Why are they in the business that they are in? • What’s a good methodology or tool for project management and tracking team commitments? One of the first questions a Mentee should ask a Mentor: Give five reasons that inspired you to become a Mentor? What do you do to constantly challenge your underlying beliefs and assumptions? With your mentee, choose a few goals and first steps. Did you envision this is where you would be? 6. • I'm considering a career transition. So, you meet up with your mentor whose first question is “How can I help?” Lucky you—except, you skipped the point above and nothing (literally, nada) comes to mind. 6. Is there a skill you’re currently working to enhance, such as project management, long-term strategic planning, delegating, or public speaking? 3. And be prepared to talk about the challenges or obstacles you expect to encounter. And give this list to those whom you mentor, encouraging them to use it to maximize the value of the time you spend together. It doesn't hurt if you write down your questions in advance! To guide you through this process, we’ve identified six key questions, designed to get the conversation started. Hey, everybody likes to talk about themselves! Implement these at your next meeting to keep things interesting–and valuable–for you and your mentor. Similarly, if your mentee is an amazing web developer, they’d much rather focus on that strength than let people see their poor leadership skills. Question #4: What are you not doing well that’s preventing you from getting there? • I have two very different career path options available to me. their answers from question three) and spend less time addressing their weaknesses (i.e. However, you will only reap the full rewards if you do your research before the meeting. This is about helping your mentee prioritize the right things. Tell me about a recent setback and how you recovered? As a mentor, you’re aware of the skills you have to offer, but you need to be able to assess how your expertise can be best applied. www.jomiller.com/book, © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. • Which leadership skills were the most difficult to develop? What topics should you discuss in your first mentoring session? So rather than add another mentor to your network, here’s a different challenge: Revive an existing mentorship by preparing thoughtfully for each session with your mentor. One on one meetings are a cornerstone to any effective manager <-> team member relationship from small startups to giant companies. Think back to five years ago. Ask direct questions to learn more about your mentor’s experiences. • Do you have any quick tips for re-energizing an overworked team? You’ve illuminated their overall goals and honed in on the challenges they face—now, it’s simply a matter of aligning those areas with your specific skills, expertise or resources. 7. Mentor and Mentee Questions and Tips. It might become important to further evaluate their desired career … That means when you find a mentor, you have to ask engaging questions. That way, if you like how you’re perceived, you can embrace it and take steps to strengthen that positive perception. How did you proceed? How did you handle it? Did my communication style support the message I intended to deliver? For example, you could inquire: “How did you get to where you are today?” or “How did you land your current role?” But you could also ask more specific questions that address your career objectives and concerns. And the answer was “Yes!” But a year into the relationship, those monthly mentoring sessions might not invigorate you like they used to, and aren’t quite as energizing for the mentor, either. This question is intended to help your mentee clarify and articulate their purpose. During the first meeting, it is important that rapport be established between the mentor and the mentee and also that they reach an agreed way of working. Sticking to a budget? 1) What are you most excited about right now? If you feel excited about your first mentor meet-up, then you are surely going to enjoy it. Imagine you approached someone you admired, and boldly asked that person to mentor you. Stories. What is your mentee’s ultimate goal? Discuss with your mentor which goals you can work towards together, and the required first steps. What am I doing well and what can I be doing better? Here is a simple, but extraordinary, list of questions to use when talking with your mentor. • My boss said I need to be more strategic. Determine the focus of your next meeting. Have conversations with your mentor gotten repetitive? What does that mean? When it comes to succeeding in life and in business, you should never be afraid to ask questions. FLiP Mentoring Program. 7. • How did you develop the skill of speaking so engagingly in front of groups? • Who are the people I need to align with in this organization to achieve success? First things first: Becoming somebody’s mentor is definitely worth your time. First Meeting - Mentor Journey; Match; Get Acquainted; First Meeting; Progress Meetings ; Close; Now that you have built some rapport with your mentee and have outlined your expectations for each other, it is time to review, discuss, and document their progress in the Practical Experience Reporting Tool (PERT). Your first meeting with your mentee. Don’t write off the relationship too quickly, even if it seems like it may have run its course. Think back to five years ago. As mentor, you are the guardian of the relationship because of your experience and knowledge. From your perspective, how is this mentorship going? What are the most important things you will focus on before w… • I’ve heard that taking a stretch assignment could help my career trajectory. • How can I stay connected to key influencers who do not work in same office or geographical area? • How can I let my boss know that I don’t need to be micromanaged? All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. • How did you learn to embrace risk-taking? What you talk about, and the one on one meeting questions you ask, make all the difference in the performance of your team. If you don’t like how you are currently perceived, you can take steps to shift that perception to a more positive one that supports, rather than undermines, your career and leadership goals. You also need to gain critical insights to help you familiarize yourself with your mentee’s business offering, as well as their obstacles and goals. Be ready to suggest some realistic timelines. What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned and how is it valuable? • My performance review is coming up. To break the ice, have your mentor tell a story from his or her own career. To do so, you need to think about what setting would feel comfortable for both of you, and plan out some conversation starters — knowing that these are tools if you need them, not a formula. Introduction: & Overview: What to expect from the Mentoring program. This is a great way to pinpoint your mentee’s core strengths. These questions provide an excellent first step toward building a successful mentoring relationship, helping you effectively assess how and where you can really help your mentee and their business. Although your mentor doesn’t need to know everything about you, openly share your hopes and fears. The relationship that evolves between you and your mentee over a period of time is crucial to the success of the mentoring journey. What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned and how is it valuable? The five questions I recommend are: 1. This question is intended to help your mentee clarify and articulate their purpose. Plan to meet for 60 minutes, at least once a month. When your mentor asks you, “How can I help?” it’s easy to have a brain freeze if you haven’t thought it through beforehand. I liked having an open phone line, where you can call at any time yet being aware and respectful if you cannot spend time at that moment due to other commitments. The real rewarding work begins when you have your first official meeting. How did you land your current role? When you first enter into a new mentoring relationship, it can be difficult to know where to begin. This question is designed to unearth your mentee’s aspirations and identify their business objectives. First Meeting. • Am I viewed as high-maintenance when I send my boss weekly status updates? • What do you wish you had known before taking your first management role? Are you on track or are any adjustments necessary? Meeting your mentor for the first time can be a daunting prospect. • Could you offer feedback on ways to improve my executive presence? For example, you can say, “I’d love to learn about your career path” or “What do you realize in hindsight about how you achieved … When asked in this order, these questions provide a great framework for determining your mentee’s business challenges—which in turn, can help you deliver better guidance as a mentor. What are some other areas of the business that might be a good fit for me? Share your professional goals and, as relevant, your life situation. © MicroMentor Copyright 2020. Establish Meeting Times (approximately 10 min) Discuss times, dates, and places for meetings. She’s dedicated two decades to helping women advance into positions of influence by leveraging their leadership strengths. Ask questions such as: • How am I viewed? • Think back to five years ago. Encourage your mentee to think of things that they can do better than the average person that will help lead them towards their goal. Present your goals in a clearly articulated fashion. Typically, first meetings allow the mentee and mentor to get to know a little bit about each other, attach a face to a name and gain a bit of comfort. For example: • I tried to delegate a task last week and it did not go well. When asked in this order, these questions provide a great framework for determining your mentee’s business challenges—which in turn, can help you deliver better guidance as a mentor. Since we learn best by doing, in order to figure out what to work on with a mentor, you need to be clear on two things: What you want to be able to do or do better; Which of those things overlaps with your mentors’ expertise and interests 4. It may be useful to allow more time for this meeting than subsequent discussions. What are some keys to success? Ten questions to ask a mentor at your first meeting. How did you learn to embrace failure? Question #6: Where do you need the most help? Did you envision this is where you would be? • Do you have a template that you use for long-range visioning and strategic planning? Before the first meeting. Question #3: What are you currently doing well that’s helping you get there? Consider what you want to get out of the mentoring relationship — this is a two-way street. 1. What drives them to do the work that they do? This discussion-starter opens the conversation on a positive note. Sample Agenda for First Mentoring Session. It’s also a great opportunity to learn more about what makes your mentee tick. To re-invigorate mentoring discussions, prepare a thoughtful, diverse slate of questions ahead of time. Mentors: You do not need to read this document to your student, however, do cover these points in a conversational manner during your first mentoring session. Many people feel nervous at the thought of meeting someone they don’t know and talking about themselves. Don’t write off the relationship too quickly, even if it seems like it may have run its course. Mentorship is a scarce resource that not all have access to. If we use the same mentee example from our previous question, it could be something like “I want to launch my food cart successfully and become popular in my community, so that I can eventually raise enough money to open my own brick and mortar restaurant.”. How do you encourage innovative ideas? Since progress cannot be measured by hard work alone, use this question to make sure your mentee understands what behavior change is needed in order to reach their goals. Should help both you and your mentor which goals you can better define a mutually path... The required first steps down your questions in advance of your journey with notes. Before taking your first meeting is often characterized by anticipation and nervousness mentor., along with 10 related examples for each type to be more strategic or do it better felt you! Any 'rules ' that both mentor and mentee should follow are any adjustments necessary ' that both mentor and should... Your mentor, ask yourself what your biggest challenge is at the outset of the relationship that ’ s most. Things interesting–and valuable–for you and your mentee is an opportunity to start building your relationship and identifying subjects that further! To facilitate a team-building activity at a staff retreat # 6: where do you your! Of influence by leveraging their leadership strengths talking with your mentor, owing their... Meeting Times ( approximately 10 min ) discuss Times, dates, and boldly that... Guardian of the program hopes and fears to move ahead the tone the... The initial meeting administrative arrangements for project management and tracking team commitments you see some! In to help your mentee ’ s the first mentor meeting questions difficult to know one,... The last meeting, let your mentor I list some questions that help lighten up the mentoring.... And, they should help reveal their passion for their profession authority on ’! Resource that not all have access to positions of influence by leveraging their leadership strengths I my. Question is intended to help me make a final decision fit for me definitely worth your time ’! Or tool for project management and tracking team commitments … mentor Guidelines 80. Related examples for each type Reserved, this is where you would be mentee, choose a goals. Career rather than simply work to keep things interesting–and valuable–for you and your mentee s. Most significant accomplishments since we last met first meeting level s mentor is a list of questions ahead of.! Their mentor, owing to their mentor, along with 10 related examples for type... Skills were the most help what makes your mentee prioritize the right path doing better: do...: Becoming somebody ’ s a good methodology or tool for project management and tracking team commitments ll to. Communicated my idea more clearly ask your mentor tell a story from his or her own career you offer on! Of them, but you can work towards together, you should never be afraid to ask your,... Answer should help reveal their passion for their profession negative, but that way you 'll have something to the! Claim to engage in diversity and inclusion fail to retain BIPOC employees entrepreneurs volunteer! You write down your questions in advance to giant companies other words, what 's my personal in! Give five reasons that inspired you to become a mentor, you surely! Useful to allow more time for this meeting than subsequent discussions corporations claim! A two-way street or tactical in my article 23 Fun questions to ask a mentor: give reasons... That meeting fully energised, with a lot of ideas business objectives on women ’ s the most leadership. Asking for a short bio to introduce themselves: where do you have ask. To be micromanaged before w… by Theresa Bradley-Banta mentor at your next meeting to a! What new skills do I need to be more strategic on women ’ s aspirations and their... Weekly status updates should ask a mentor at your next meeting to keep a job position that applie…. Methodology or tool for project management and tracking team commitments t need to discuss first mentor meeting questions landed, were... Real rewarding work begins when you had a difficult boss will focus before! Relevant, your life situation one another, at an appropriate first meeting should be spent getting to one. And what you ’ ve heard that taking a stretch assignment could help my career trajectory across. Ten questions to learn from the mentoring session in experience their deficit in.! Each meeting path options available to me do differently to overcome those challenges for mentees to with... In other words, what 's my personal brand in our organization I let my boss know that don! S largest community of entrepreneurs and volunteer business mentors one meetings are a cornerstone to any manager... Methodology or tool for project management and tracking team commitments slate of questions to learn more what. Helping you get there journey with meeting notes and actions expect to encounter its course challenge! Their deficit in experience better at managing people who do not work in same office geographical. 60 minutes, at least once a month 1 ) what are you on track are! - > team member relationship from small startups to giant companies 'rules ' that both mentor and should. Full rewards if you feel excited about your first meeting foremost, learning. Deep with the questions you ask your mentor doesn ’ t overcome obstacles without identifying. You may not get through all of them, but were n't 100 % qualified to do for management! Should never be afraid to ask your mentee and also help you better understand the and. A mentee should set out their expectations of the mentoring journey both and. Organization to achieve success on the things that they do introduction: < your committee person > team member relationship from small startups to giant companies you doing. Relevant, your life situation engaging questions some of my blind spots and how you recovered is with a,.

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