1. Talk on the Phone:
Unless you are underway or in the field and it is just not possible, set up an appointment with your mentoring partner to call or skype sometime in the first 2-4 weeks of your relationship. Bonding with a mentoring partner through the internet alone can be challenging. Best practices advise getting on the phone as soon as possible to hear your partner’s voice, discuss expectations for the relationship and to begin getting acquainted. What will you talk about? Share why you wanted to participate in the program, details about you (your work or education experiences, hobbies or interests, extra-curricular activities, sports, your family), and expectations for this relationship (see #2 below).
2. Discuss Expectations:
You will greatly enhance your chances for your relationship’s success if you set time aside in the first few weeks of your relationship to discuss your and your protégé’s expectations AND make some agreements about:
This is does not have to be the only time you discuss these issues, but it is good to begin this discussion right away. This conversation goes a long way to helping you begin building trust and to get started on the same page and on the right foot.
3. Set Goals:
After the initial conversation about goals, revisit the topic and try to refine the goals the protégé has for the relationship (the mentor can set some for herself/himself, too). Record the protégé goals in the “Goals” section of the “Mentoring Area” of your relationship on the eMentor site and set target dates for achieving them. The goals and target dates can be changed at any time, but it’s important to start with something. Remember, you can’t hit the target if you don’t have one!
4. Read our Guidelines:
Take a few minutes to review these documents on the site: