Congratulations, you have established a formal mentoring relationship with your mentor. Every relationship is unique and to ensure a successful relationship, you should complete the mentoring agreement with your mentor. This provides you with a good opportunity to discuss your expectations for the relationship so that you are both on the same page.
You will want to discuss your mentoring objective, goals and how the mentor can support you in achieving them. During the conversation, you may come up with new ideas and/or goals that you feel would be helpful to work on as well. This discussion will help to shape the relationship and provide clarity on what you would like to achieve together. Brainstorm some of the activities and/or topics that you can discuss during your meetings in order to reach your mentoring objective. For example, you can lead a meeting or attend a networking event with your mentor and then ask them for their feedback about your performance. A meeting may also consist of a specific issue that you are having at the time, and the mentor can guide you in coming up with a solution.
You should also speak about how the relationship can work. The following are a few areas that you should discuss:
Meeting formats: How would you like to meet? Would you like to have meetings in-person, over the phone, video conferencing, email or live text chat? It could also be a combination of formats.
Frequency of meetings: Would you like to meet every week, biweekly or monthly?
Length of relationship: How long are both of you willing to commit to this relationship? Some formal relationships can be as short as one month or as long as one year. You should also discuss a plan if you or the mentor would like to end the relationship earlier than anticipated.
Availability: What days and times typically work for each of you to meet?
Length of meetings: Will your meetings be 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes or 60 minutes in length?
Cancellations: What is the best way to notify each other in case a meeting needs to be postponed?
Agendas: Will you submit an agenda prior to the meeting? If you agree on sending the agenda in advance, the mentor may want to provide their input as well. The agenda can include updates, specific discussion topic(s), action items and setting the next meeting date and format.
Confidentiality: Discuss how confidential information will be handled.
It is far too easy for a formal mentoring relationship to fizzle out and lose momentum over time. You need to make the most of this opportunity by ensuring that you and the mentor are benefiting from the experience. If you have gained all that you need to gain from the mentor, then have this discussion with your mentor. It is much better to end the relationship rather than keeping it going with the mentor wondering what ever happened to you and the mentoring relationship that you had both agreed to.
To end a mentoring relationship, you may want to discuss your experiences with them and how they have helped you to grow both personally and professionally. By reflecting on the relationship with your mentor, you will be able to celebrate your achievements and better prepare yourself for your next mentoring relationship, whether you are the Mentee or mentor.