Mentoring Agreements Create the Foundation for Your Relationship

Laura Francis

 Help Mentees and Mentors Start Off Right

Establishing the groundwork for your mentoring relationship is a key element for success. You give yourself and your mentoring partner an advantage by creating a mentoring agreement at the beginning of the relationship, which provides a concrete foundation for what each wishes to accomplish through the mentoring relationship. It also helps you both manage relational expectations and clearly define your commitments. Ultimately, a good agreement provides the framework for the scope of the relationship and acts as a contract between the mentee and mentor.

The mentee and mentor will work together on the final draft of the agreement. Based on the essential elements of a mentoring agreement, mentees should keep the following questions in mind when negotiating the final agreement.    Can my mentor help me meet these goals? How will I be held accountable for my progress? Do these confidentiality standards meet both of our needs? Will this meeting schedule work for me? How can we both monitor my progress?

A mentor and mentee in a meeting in the office.

Based on the essential elements of the mentoring agreement, mentors should consider asking the following questions of the mentee’s proposed agreement.

  • Can I help my mentee meet these goals?
  • Are there additional ways I can help my mentee retain accountability for their progress?
  • Do these confidentiality standards meet both of our needs?
  • Will this meeting schedule work for me?
  • How can the mentee and I both monitor progress?

By asking these questions of the mentoring agreement and using the agreement as the foundation for your mentoring relationship, you can better address any relational components that may arise during the relationship, such as misunderstandings, personality conflicts and unmet expectations. Additionally, the mentoring agreement will help you focus your energy and time so that you stay attentive to the core purpose for your relationship.

Check out the following articles to learn more about the mentoring benefits for mentees and mentors.

Laura Francis

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