Anyone who has mentored someone else knows that it's not always easy to keep track of everything that needs to be discussed during sessions.
When you're first starting, it's important to cover all the bases and make sure that both you and your mentee are on the same page. But it can be difficult to remember everything, especially if you're meeting with multiple mentees.
The goal of mentoring is to help both the mentor and mentee improve their skills and grow in their careers by learning from each other. Therefore, keeping track of your discussions and measuring your progress is critical to ensuring that your mentoring sessions are valuable and impactful.
A great way to ensure that you're moving the needle is to use mentoring worksheets. By jotting down your agenda, challenges, and accomplishments before and after each meeting, you can track your progress, stay on topic, and address everything that needs to be discussed.
If you're having trouble keeping your sessions fresh, interesting, and productive, we've compiled the ultimate list of mentoring worksheets to bring you to the next level.
What are mentoring worksheets?
Mentoring worksheets are simple templates that you can use to organize your thoughts and discussions before, during, and after a mentoring session. They help you prepare for your meeting by giving you a structure to follow while allowing you to jot down your ideas in a concise and organized manner.
They are a handy tool that mentees and mentors can use not only to make sure their meetings will be productive but also to make sure they work on their common goals.
Why are mentoring worksheets important?
Most of the time, mentoring sessions unfold spontaneously without any preparation, which is fine if you're just trying to get to know each other and break the ice. But if you want to ensure that you're accomplishing your goals, then it’s helpful to prepare for your meetings using a mentoring worksheet.
A mentoring worksheet can help you make the most of your time together by:
- Focusing your discussions on specific and relevant topics
- Tracking your progress over time
- Allowing you to reflect on your meetings
- Identifying areas for improvement
- Helping you prepare for your next meeting
Usually, it's the mentee's responsibility to drive the relationship by coming prepared with questions and topics for discussion. But part of being an effective mentor is being able to provide guidance and support to make sure that the mentee is getting what they need out of the relationship.
With this, both parties should craft a mentoring agreement at the beginning of the relationship to outline the expectations, roles, and responsibilities of each.
Examples of mentoring worksheets for different types of sessions
Depending on the goals of your mentoring sessions, there are different types of worksheets that you can use to supplement your discussions. For example, if you're just starting, you'll want to focus on getting to know each other and building trust. As you progress, you can start discussing more specific career goals and objectives.
The goal: This type of session is all about pointing mentees toward resources, people, and networks that will help them grow and succeed in their professional lives.
- What tools and resources do you currently use to progress toward your goals?
- Are there any events or conferences you’re interested in joining?
- Do you have any role models you look up to or people you admire?
- Quick questions – Before meeting up with your mentee, suggest that each of you write down a list of 10 quick questions. This can be anything from “What’s your favorite TV show?” to “How do you like to relax?” Once you’re together, take turns asking each other the questions.
- Discuss books and podcasts – As part of your regular meetups, discuss the books and podcasts you’ve been listening to lately. This is a great way to learn about your mentee’s interests and discover new content.
The goal: These conversations help mentees explore the industry, the company, and potential career paths to provide a better understanding of what they want and where they see themselves going.
- What kind of company culture would you want to work in?
- What do you think of the <latest topic or news in your industry>?
- Have you had any defining moments that you’d say have shaped your career path?
- Create SMART goals – Help your mentee set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Make a record of these goals and check in on them regularly.
- Career exploration – Help your mentee explore the different career options available in their desired field. This could involve researching different jobs, attending job fairs, or networking with professionals.
The goal: In teaching sessions, mentors provide mentees with the tools, knowledge, functional competencies, and unwritten rules they need to know to be successful in their roles.
- What skills do you want to develop throughout our mentoring sessions?
- Do you like to manage projects or be an individual contributor?
- What projects energize you the most?
- Project-based learning – Allow your mentee to work on a project that interests them. This can be anything from starting a side business to writing a book or giving a presentation. Guide them through the process, offer feedback, and celebrate their successes along the way.
- Skills development – Generate a list of all skills a mentee wants to learn. Prioritize the list by choosing a skill that would lead to the most immediate impact. Then lead a mini-workshop on how to improve that skill. Draw upon your personal experiences and expertise as the mentor.
The goal: The mentor asks about the mentee’s progress on action items and overall goals while giving valuable insights to help them get to the next level.
- Are you taking on enough challenges?
- Where do you want to be in the next 6-12 months?
- What are the steps you’re willing to take to get the results you want?
- Bucket list brainstorms – Ask your mentee about the things they’ve always wanted to do. Let them brainstorm a list of life goals and offer advice on how to achieve them. These can be pipe dreams or concrete professional milestones they’re working toward. The aim is to provide advice on how to achieve those goals.
- Career mapping – Does your mentee have a planned-out path for their career? Most careers don’t look like straight, upward lines but squiggles. First, identify goals and work backward. Map out steps to achieve their goals, and offer advice and support.
The goal: These sessions aim to help mentees think through options for a specific problem or challenge they are facing at work and provide them feedback on their proposed solution.
- What are your strengths in your current role? How would you like to use them in the future?
- What’s the biggest challenge holding you back in your professional development?
- What ideas have you developed to help you overcome challenges and meet your goals?
- Highs and lows – Every week, ask your mentee about the highest and lowest points of their week. This will help you understand them better and provide support where needed.
- Problem-solving sessions – When faced with a difficult problem, most people tend to reach out to their mentors for help. Let your mentee outline a problem they’re facing and prioritize one or two to unpack within your time together. Share advice, ask questions, and move forward.
More resources for mentors
At the end of the day, mentoring is all about communication and relationships. The best way to be a great mentor is to get to know your mentee, understand their goals and objectives, and find ways to help them grow.
The following articles are packed with tips, advice, and resources to help you become a better mentor.
- 27 questions mentors should ask their mentees: Never run out of things to ask your mentee with this list of thought-provoking questions.
- Mentoring activities: 17 examples to try in your next meeting: Keep your mentoring sessions fresh and fun with these new activities.
- How to create a mentoring agreement: Get started on the right foot with a clear and concise mentoring agreement.
- What are the responsibilities of mentors?: See what's expected of you as a mentor with this detailed list of responsibilities.
- What does it look like to effectively mentor others?: Understand what good mentoring looks like and how you can strive to achieve it.
- 6 ways to encourage mentoring at work: Encourage a mentoring culture in your workplace with these tips.
With these easy-to-use worksheets and an endless stream of resources, you’ll have better results and more satisfied team members in no time!