You’ve been matched up, the first meeting with your mentor/mentee went very well and you’re excited to continue developing the relationship.
Mentorship is a very interesting relationship because at its core the right chemistry between two people and organic growth are essential to success however, as the main objective of the relationship is to build and establish business/professional/personal goals, it does involve more structure than a regular friendship or network opportunity. The MentorNetwork for the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Nova Scotia is specifically related to the medical field, however their mentorship program has valuable resources for anyone who is currently or will in the future be involved in a matchup process. Here are the core phases they advocate and which the MHB Team have aligned back to our program.
The diagram above puts mentorship into four key phases: Preparing, Negotiating, Learning/Establishing, and Closing. The specific phases help to visualize where you (whether as a mentee or mentor) would like to see your mentorship go. In addition, with tangible goals set in place, it is a lot easier to celebrate the small or large successes, whether it’s a new customer “win”, phase or long-term goal.
Now let’s break down the lifecycle into each specific phase and how it can relate to the #MentorHerBiz program.
- Preparing – 20%: This is the self-assessment prior to deciding whether to proceed with a matchup or not.
- Why does a mentee need a mentor? What is your motivation behind being matched up with a mentor? At MHB, we ask our mentees some thought-provoking questions in their initial signup, please see more details here.
- Why do you want to mentor? Explore through a self-assessment such as the MHB Program Mentor Form
- Negotiating – 35%: Goals and the Content/Process of the Relationship will be defined and confirmed during this phase.
- How should goals be addressed?
- What is the working style of both parties?
- What strategy should be used in case the matchup encounters obstacles or misunderstandings?
Our previous article focused on this subject, here is your link if you are interested in reviewing it again.
- Learning & Establishing – 40%: Most mentorship programs will agree that Phase 3 is most integral to the success of a mentorship and we at MHB couldn’t agree more! Why is this? In addition to your tangible goals being successfully implemented, your relationship with your mentor/mentee really begins to blossom during this phase. Some great questions to ask yourself at this point might be:
- What kinds of business networks have you been introduced to?
- Has a strategy started to form for specific business goals?
- How will the business strategy been executed?
- Have the meetings focused on the end goal?
- What problems or difficulties have been encountered since the last meeting? How were they resolved.
- Discussion on several outcomes which will be addressed by the next meeting.
- Closing – 5%: Should the partnership decide to end due to goals being met and established, this phase will allow for both parties to evaluate and reflect on what was learned, what can be the focus for the future.
By considering the following questions, the exit strategy successfully brings the mentorship relationship full-circle, for a complete and positive experience.
- How will goals be integrated into the business strategy going forward?
- Will we/Can we properly celebrate the successes of our mentorship?
- Will this relationship continue into something more informal such as, colleagues, friends or occasionally connecting through networking events, essentially where will you both go from here?
Whether you decide to follow the structured lifecycle above or not, the key to ensuring success is by integrating measurable outcomes into your mentorship relationship.