Mentor/ Mentee Tip #2 – Define Expectations

By Tyler Jones posted 12-20-2017 16:47


Mentor/ Mentee Tip #2 – Define Expectations  

Our NACMA Membership Development Committee continues our series focused on our TOP 10 Tips to Building a Strong Mentor/Mentee Relationship; I would like to concentrate on Tip #2 – Define Expectations. 

Developing and defining proper expectations for your relationship is critical to ensure both parties are on the same page.  This process should be collaborative and assist you in guiding future discussions. The phrase “Define Expectations” may seem a bit intimating, especially for those mentees who are new to this whole mentorship thing.  So, below I provided a few simple techniques that can help you lead the conversation:

    • Perhaps start with a monthly touch base. This is standard practice within the industry.
    • Inquire what days of the week fits best within their schedule.
    • Start with a 30min meeting to kick things off.
    • Allow your partner to share their positive and negative experiences as a mentor/mentee.
      • Hopefully you will gain a clearer understanding of what your partner values.
        • This will help you establish expectations that are manageable.
      • SHARE YOUR “WHY”
        • Share your purpose for joining the mentorship program. A number of participants join the program for a number of reasons, and that is perfectly fine.  Being transparent with your “Why”, will help both participants establish clear and aligned expectations.

Understand that the keys above are points to help you lead the discussion, but please focus and make sure the conversation is collaborative.  Your mentor should also find value from this relationship, so allow your mentor to establish a few expectations as well.   

Sport Example:  The process of establishing the expectations are similar to developing a football game plan/playbook.  Yes, when the game begins, you may need to adjust the game plan.   But you never abandon the plan, as it is the team’s foundation. #TJTIPS