Like any other relationship, mentoring can get a bit cosy. The review is your opportunity to influence how the mentoring programme is managed and the support you receive in making mentoring deliver results for you. It addresses questions such as:

  • What have been the high and low points of mentoring so far?
  • What would you like your mentor to do more or less of?
  • Are you being sufficiently challenged by the mentoring relationship? What would make it more challenging for you?
  • What are you doing to help the mentor help you? What more could you be doing to extract value from the mentor’s greater experience?

Do any of the following comments strike a chord?

I’m getting all I need from the relationship

Mentors and mentees, who take part in a mid-point review, typically report that the energy levels and impact of their mentoring relationships increases in the following months.

We’ve had several meetings slip or be postponed

Now is the time to seek advice on maintaining the momentum of your mentoring relationship. This is a common problem but there are straightforward actions you can take to remedy it.

We are running out of things to talk about

This phenomenon is sometimes called “relationship droop” and most often arises because the conversations aren’t hitting the depth they could. Again, there are practical things you can do to raise the energy levels and effectiveness of your mentoring sessions.

There’s not a lot of challenge in our conversations

Challenge can be intellectual, emotional, or both. By now, your mentoring conversations should be stimulating deep reflection in you. You should also feel comfortable challenging what the mentor says, and making him or her reflect, too. If that isn’t happening, there are approaches you can use to boost the level of challenge you and the mentor experience.

I’m not sure what my mentor is getting out of this relationship

It’s time the two of you had an honest exchange about “what’s in it for me”. Typically, when one party in a mentoring relationship has this feeling, so does the other. Sharing what is working well for you – and what could be improved – helps build the relationship and encourages both of you to tackle new and more significant issues.

What happens in the mid-point review?

The key steps in the mid-point review are:

  1. A brief (maximum half-hour) interview and advice session with a mentoring specialist. This is intended to equip you with a practical approach – customised to you – for the relationship review you need to conduct with your mentor
  2. Relationship review – a (usually quite brief) conversation between you and your mentor, focusing on the relationship and how to get more out of it
  3. Either or both of you and the mentor can seek further advice if you need it.
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