Mentoring checklist: Tips for making the most of each session

Looking for ways to be a great mentor? Look no further. Here's a checklist of activities and tasks so you don't miss anything!

Muinat Zubair

May 12, 2022

You have agreed to be a mentor to a person or group of people in your workplace. Now what? How do they benefit from your wealth of experience and expertise? There is so much to teach and learn. How do you get started and help them make the most of the relationship?

Not to worry, this article will outline tasks that mentors need to complete during mentoring meetings. It will also include tips and advice for you to be the best mentor you can be. 

Let’s get into it!

What is a mentoring checklist?

A mentoring checklist is a list of actions mentors should take before, during, and after each meeting or mentoring session. 

It is important that you and your mentee make your expectations and goals clear from the onset of the mentoring program. A mentoring checklist will help you stay on track and measure progress as you move along in the relationship. You can collaborate with your mentee to form a plan that works for both parties. Develop attainable goals and determine the type of guidance and resources your mentee needs using a checklist. 

We will discuss why you need a checklist as a mentor, and what to do before, during, and after every meeting in the following sections. You will also get actionable tips on becoming a great mentor and how to start a formal mentoring program in your company if you haven’t already.

Together’s mentoring platform has meeting agenda templates that provide mentors and mentees with guides for their sessions. The guides cover everything from goal setting to job shadowing and dealing with stress. Starting a mentorship program at work shouldn’t be a burden, it is easy when you get started for free with Together.

Why do mentors need a checklist?

A mentoring checklist helps mentors to stay on track and ensure they’re doing everything they can to help their mentees get the most out of their time together. A checklist helps mentors not miss anything. 

It also gives them ideas for what to talk about. It is a guide for mentors and mentees on activities to do once they have reached a mutual agreement on their mentoring relationship. 

What mentors should do before every meeting

Before every meeting, mentors should do the following things:

Agree on what goals or outcomes the mentee wants from the mentoring sessions.

Goals help the mentee ‌look beyond the daily demands of his job and focus on making the most of the mentoring program. With a goal in mind for each session, both parties can focus on achieving the objectives and using their time effectively. 

Decide on a topic of discussion with your mentee. 

By deciding on a topic beforehand, both parties know what to expect and how best to prepare for the upcoming meeting. The mentor will especially have time to gather resources that will help the mentee maximize the time frame. 

Include interesting videos or articles that pertain to the topic.

Mentors and mentees should agree on the method of learning that works for them. However, the mentor can engage the mentee through interesting videos and articles relevant to the topic under discussion. It helps to create a more laid back atmosphere where both parties can exchange ideas. 

Any initial thoughts you have on the topic that you’d like to share with your mentee ahead of the meeting.

If you have any ideas to share regarding ‌your next meeting, you can chip them in before the meeting. It could be slight changes to the topic or asking if the mentee is comfortable discussing it. It shows the mentee that, although you are busy, you have them in mind and take your mentoring responsibility seriously. 

What mentors should do during each mentoring session

Ask the mentee how their week has been.

A bit of informality can create a comfortable atmosphere. This helps to build the human connection and sets the tone for a productive mentoring session. 

Ask the mentee what their initial thoughts are on the topic for the session. 

This is a way of making the meeting interactive and showing the mentee he is free to air his views on the topic. Mentoring is‌ not the typical teacher-student relationship. It is an open and proactive partnership that benefits both parties. 

Address the mentees' thoughts, concerns, challenges, goals, or experiences with the topic. 

Based on the topic, the pair can address whatever needs the mentee has at that moment. The focus should be on learning and not exposing weakness or failure. This is an opportunity for the mentor to share any similar experience and provide relevant resources to tackle the need. 

Discuss any articles or videos that were sent ahead of time. 

The mentor can send articles and videos related to the topic ahead of the meeting. That way, they can move straight to discussing them rather than having to consume the content during the meeting. This will save time, put less pressure on the mentee, and make sure he has time to digest the content of the materials. 

Ask the mentee how they feel about the discussion as the session concludes. 

Towards the end of the session, it is important to take some minutes to reflect on the discussion. The mentor can ask for feedback on the discussion to better prepare for future meetings. 

Agree on a topic for the next session.

Before rounding off the session, it is important to conclude on the topic for the next session. It has to align with the mentees’ goals. This makes both parties accountable and mentally prepared for the next session. 

What mentors should do after their session

Follow up with any thoughts you’ve had as you’ve had more time to ponder your discussion.

Following up shows you care and are thinking about what is best for them. It also encourages your mentee to put more effort into the program.

Confirm the next session’s time.

Mentoring sessions don’t have to follow a particular time pattern. It can vary depending on the availability of both parties. Check on your mentee and confirm the time of the next session to be sure you’re on the same page.

Share the next session’s topic with resources. 

To keep the momentum, the mentor should share resources related to the topic of the next session. This will keep the mentee on his toes and ready for the next meeting.

Quick tips on how to be a great mentor

What is a mentoring checklist without some tips to help you along the journey? Here are some quick tips on how to be a great mentor:

  • Cultivate active listening skills and communication strategies
  • Share stories from your personal experience 
  • Set realistic goals and expectations for your mentee
  • Give constructive criticism and provide workable solutions
  • Encourage reflection and highlight your mentee’s growth
  • Hold your mentee accountable for their growth
  • Leverage your network to help them grow faster
  • Be flexible and respect diverse perspectives on a topic or issue
  • Celebrate their wins like you mean it and be yourself at all times
  • Ask for feedback to improve your mentoring skills

Overall, make sure you take your mentoring responsibilities seriously and help your mentee with as many resources as possible. Keep it real and share your struggles to encourage them. Check out this article where we share more tips on building a successful mentoring relationship.  

Starting a formal mentoring program at your company?

Are you looking to start a formal mentoring program in your company? You are in the right place. 

Together has a mentoring software ideal for HR managers looking to start a mentoring program in their company. If you already have a mentorship program in place, we also have resources to help mentors and mentees make the most of their relationships. We can lead you by the hand through your mentorship journey with our mentoring skills checklist, tools and templates, guides and articles, all on making mentorship a work in the park. 

You can launch a mentoring program on Together by registering employees, matching them, and monitoring their sessions. Simple right?

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