Ending your mentoring relationships

Kristin Nankervis
Kristin Nankervis
  • Updated

Whether your program has come to an end, is in the process of relaunching, or your mentoring relationship has stalled, sometimes mentors and mentees need to go their separate ways. This is totally normal, and in no way reflects one's ability as a mentor or mentee.

When this inevitably happens, here’s how to spot the signs it's time to move on, deal with closing the loop when the time has come to go your separate ways, and how your Program Coordinator can offer support.

General signs it's time to close the loop

It’s probably time to call it quits if you’re regularly having unproductive meetings, or there are simply too many cancellations or rescheduling happening. 

Don’t take this personally—it could simply be a fundamental difference in personalities or some other basic incompatibility that has nothing to do with you specifically!

Here are some it’s-time-to-split signs to look out for if you’re a mentee or mentor.

Signs you should move on from your Mentor

If you’re a mentee and wondering if it’s time to move on from your mentor, here are some signs you should look for:

  • You’re not learning anymore: You feel like you’ve hit your learning ceiling with this mentor, and it would serve you to continue your journey with someone else. 
  • You feel like you’re not allowed to fail: Mentoring should be about learning from failures as much as from successes; if you sense your mentor is regularly disappointed with you when you don’t meet their expectations, it may be time for a switch.
  • You feel rushed: You need to do things in your own time, with some nudges here and there. But if you feel like your mentor is putting strict time restraints or deadlines on you, they might not be the best person for you.

Knowing your mentor might not be right for you anymore doesn’t necessarily mean the relationship has to end completely; you can always stay in touch in a less formal capacity going forward.

Signs you should move on from your Mentee 

On the other hand, mentors may think it’s time for them and their mentees to go their separate ways if:

  • Your mentee becomes too dependent: Your mentee can’t seem to make a move without your approval; this is a sign they’re becoming too dependent on you and that it may be time to move on.
  • Your mentee doesn’t follow through: For all the excellent tips and advice you’ve given, your mentee can’t seem to get it into gear and take action. If there’s simply no follow-through, your hard-won advice may be better suited for someone else.
  • You feel you’re no longer the right mentor for where they are in their career/life: Maybe you’ve had a great mentoring relationship up to this point, but you’ve taken them as far as you can and think it’s time for someone else to guide them on the next leg of their journey.

What about if my program is just coming to an end?

There are a few reasons your Program Coordinator may request for you to close your Loops on Mentorloop, however, it is most likely that the current program is coming to an end or that your program is about to undergo a relaunch. This is a really exciting time for you and your peers, as it means there's potential for new mentoring relationships to be formed!

If this is the case for your program, your Coordinator will be in touch to inform you of the upcoming changes and request that you close your loop. This doesn't mean that the mentoring relationship necessarily has to come to an abrupt halt. You can continue your existing mentoring relationships outside of Mentorloop if you like, or politely ask your Program Coordinator to keep your loop active. 

So, now that you know it’s time to part, how exactly should you go about it?

How to close down your loop amicably

Here are some suggestions for ending your relationship with your mentor/mentee amicably:

  • Say thank you for their time and effort: Gratitude first; always. Demonstrate that you do genuinely appreciate the time and effort your mentoring partner has dedicated to you and your journey.
  • Be honest with your reasons: Be honest but also gentle; give your honest reasons for moving on and why you think you’ll both be better off.
  • If you want to continue the relationship outside of Mentorloop, why not revisit the Mentoring Agreement? Get clear on the logistics of how you're going to continue working together. 

Once you've said your goodbyes and thanked each other for your time and effort, it's time to close the loop. Follow these instructions and be sure to share your final words of feedback via the survey.

How your Program Coordinator can support

Your Program Coordinator is there to support you during this time. If you're ever unsure as to how to navigate the situation, be sure to reach out to them via your 1:1 loop with them, which can be found on the dashboard.

Sharing your feedback via the Close Loop survey will also help them help you - not just during the process of closing down your loops, but also during future matching rounds. 

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