Documenting your mentoring journey

Kristin Nankervis
Kristin Nankervis
  • Updated

Once you've been matched with someone, you will enter a loop with them. The purpose and power of loops go far beyond introductions. They provide a space for mentors and mentees to document their entire journeys together and keep track of their progress, throughout the entire relationship. Learn more about 1:1 loops here.

We often get asked about how mentors and mentees can effectively record their mentoring journeys, and so this article is going to look at the benefits of having one central place for all things mentoring, as well as practical tips for getting the most out of your loops.

Why keep mentoring in one place?

It can be tempting to opt for alternative means of communicating with your mentor/mentee that already exist within your organisation, such as email. We get it! There's already a lot of platforms to keep on top of, so why do you need another?

Well, when it comes to getting the most from mentoring, it can be really beneficial to have one centralised space for all things related to it. Sure, communicating via existing channels can come in handy for quickly organising or confirming upcoming meetings, but tracking progress via these means becomes difficult when they're used for every day activities as well. Furthermore, this can blur the lines between mentoring and other types of professional relationships, such as those between employees and their line-managers. 

Instead, we encourage you to take advantage of Mentorloop for all things mentoring, that is exactly what it's designed for after all! This enables you to:

So, how can you put this into practice in your loops? 

Document your mentoring journey

Having a written record of what was discussed and the actions agreed upon in your meetings is super important for you and your mentoring partner to be able to reference what was said at different points in the relationship. Not only does this give mentees have access to key pieces of advice or information, but also keeps them accountable to tasks and actions, which ultimately helps them achieve their development goals - which is the whole point of mentoring! 

We recommend getting clear early on on the expectations for one another by going through the mentoring agreement. This includes deciding who is responsible for taking and sharing meeting notes - although this is usually the mentees job, it's important to define these expectations early on.

Confirm meeting date, time and attendees

This gives you a clear timeline of events and can look back on your progress and growth over time. 

Share meeting agendas 

Again, decide on who is responsible for putting together the meeting agenda when completing the mentoring agreement. Then, we suggest sharing the agenda a day or so before the meeting, if possible. Not only does this give your mentor/mentee time to prepare if necessary, but also ensures you both stay focused during the meeting and get the most out of your time together.

And while we're on the topic of staying focused, check out our advice on using the rule of three to structure your agendas.

Summarise discussions

You can use your meeting agenda to structure your notes too. Notes from the meeting help you and your match get the most from your time together by providing a summary of what was discussed previously. This means you can both get on the same page ahead of joining the next meeting and get into the nitty gritty of the conversation much quicker, instead of having to spend 5-10 minutes reminding each other of the context. 

Align on key decisions and actions

Use the goals function from your loop to set SMART goals which have clear tasks and deadlines assigned to them. This will help you keep accountable and manage your time more efficiently, as you have written evidence on deadlines and priorities. 

Schedule your next meeting

We all know how busy life gets! So, if possible, agree on your next meeting date and time during the call and use the scheduling tools to confirm it from your loop. This also avoids weeks going by without hearing from each other.

Confirm your meeting ahead of time

Whether you are a mentor or mentee, it's important to remain respectful of your partner's time. They are going out of their way to attend a meeting, and so if you cannot make it for any reason, be sure to let them know with plenty or notice! To help avoid no-shows, we suggest following up in your loop a day or two before the scheduled meeting to confirm the day and time. 

Share feedback with your Program Coordinator

After every meeting, you will be asked to complete a very short survey which gathers feedback on how your mentoring meeting/match is going. Hopefully you'll have nothing but good things to say about your match, however, if you are having any issues or need any support in your mentoring relationship, it's important to voice this with your PC. All feedback is private between you and your PCs, so it's a safe space.  

You will only be send the post-meeting survey if you've scheduled your meetings in Mentorloop, so be sure to do that to get the most out of the experience! 

Celebrate your wins

And finally, don't forget to celebrate your successes! Identifying strengths and reflecting on what's gone well is just as important as working on weaknesses. 



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