Initiation Phase Meeting

two women talking at table
The first meeting has four goals:
Becoming acquainted with each other.

Spend some time getting to know one other, building a rapport, sharing career histories and exploring what you may have in common. Meeting somewhere other than the office can encourage conversation in a more relaxed and neutral environment. 

Verbalizing your vision and purpose of the partnership.

Again, it is important in the establishment of the partnership that individual expectations form a good match. Take this opportunity to delve deeper into your mutual motivations such as why you wanted to participate in the mentoring process and what you hope to get out of the relationship.  Discuss your learning and communications styles so you can work well together. The mentee should state career goals, strengths and talents, and identify ways the mentor can provide support.This is a good time to review the many roles of the mentor and identify which ones best support the goals of this specific partnership. Additionally, talk about confidentiality, including what is and isn’t acceptable to share with others. This may also be a good time to state your preferences, limits, and “pet peeves” to enter the relationship with as much information as possible to ensure success.

Establishing the nuts and bolts of the partnership.

This is where you negotiate the mentoring arrangements, including agreements on goals, expectations, length of the relationship, confidentiality, feedback processes, and meeting logistics.  The mentee should take responsibility for setting up and managing the meetings. Establish if it is appropriate to contact each other outside of the scheduled meetings. These ground rules provide the necessary framework to optimize the relationship.  

Develop the Mentoring Agreement.