Mentee Preparation Workbook

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Mentee Preparation Workbook Preparing for a meaningful mentoring partnership

Australian Mentor Centre | your mentoring partner © Australian Mentor Centre, 2009-2011.

Welcome ‘Do not assume that you know all. Notice nature and abide in the infinite. Travel openly on un-chartered paths. Be all that you are, but do not make a show of it. Be contented and remain empty, and learn to sustain the Beginner’s Mind.’ (Tao Mentoring, Cultivate Collaborative Relationships in All Areas of Your Life)

Welcome to the Mentee Preparation Workbook. The aim of this workbook is to assist you (the mentee) to prepare to undertake a meaningful mentoring partnership. Modern mentoring encourages the mentee to be an active participant in the mentoring partnership, so prior preparation and planning is a sure-fire way to help you gain more from the mentoring experience. This workbook may accompany a Mentee Education Session that is being conducted at your workplace to assist you in preparing to participate in your in-house mentoring initiative. Alternatively, you can also use the workbook as a self-paced activity. The workbook is not designed to provide definitive answers, but rather is a place for you to record and reflect upon the activities of the education session and to use as a tool in the early stages of your mentoring partnership. It’s also likely that you will be using and referring to your own in-house handbook to guide your participation. We encourage you to keep this workbook alongside your in-house handbook. On behalf of the Australian Mentor Centre, good luck for your mentoring journey. We hope you have a meaningful mentoring experience which leads to personal and professional growth, and achievement of your learning and development goals. The Australian Mentor Centre.

The Mentee Preparation Workbook is copyright. It is provided for your personal use as part of the Education Session conducted by the Australian Mentor Centre OR as part of a package of resources purchased from the Australian Mentor Centre. Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of private study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any other means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise. © Australian Mentor Centre, 2009-2011.

My Mentors – What They Did for Me … Mentee Tip #1 Being able to communicate what you’d like a mentor to do for/with you is vital to starting off your mentoring partnership. You can help your mentor to be more responsive to you by clearly communicating your mentoring needs.

Think back to your life and working career to date. Can you identify the people who have gone beyond performing their job or carrying out their everyday (or expected) jobs to assist you? It’s quite possible that these people were in some ways a mentor to you – but perhaps you didn’t call them a mentor or identify that you were in a mentoring partnership partnership. In the space below, below, take a moment to write down who these people were, and what specifically they did for you. Role/relationship/name Role/relationship/name: What they did for me:

Role/relationship/name: What they did for me:

Role/relationship/name: What they did for me:

PARTNERSHIP LINK. Review the list of ‘specifics’ for each of the above relationships. Which of these activities would you like your current mentor to do with and for you? List these below and any other activities you would like a mentor to do with and for you. In the first rst few meetings, when your mentor asks you: ‘What would you like me to do for you/help you you with?’, you’ll now be able to be more specific in your response. 1.










Mentee Preparation Workbook (Version 3.0) © Australian Mentor Centre, 2009-2011. 2009 All Rights Reserved.


My Mentoring Focus – Charting a Course … Mentee Tip #2 How do you look at your career? Are you sailing along on the winds – buffeted by others?

Your mentoring partnership will assist you to develop both personally and professionally over the next 12 months. And, it’s likely that in the first few meetings with your mentor, you’ll be ask asked: ‘What do you want to achieve with our mentoring partnership?’ ?’ As a mentee, you need to be able to answer this question – even if you’re not 100% sure on your learning and development needs. needs Take a moment now to complete these questions. What’s my overall career focus in the next 12 months?

Or are you in control – navigating your career forward? Mentoring offers you the opportunity to purposefully and proactively chart a course of personal and professional career development.

What areas am I keen to develop in the next 12 months (eg. build on strengths/improve weaknesses)

What opportunities are there for me in my career in the next 12 months?

What could stop me from achieving my overall career focus?

PARTNERSHIP LINK. Look back at your answers above above. What tentative personal/professional goals could you include as part of your mentoring plan plan, based on this information?? List these below and use them in your early discussions with your mentor. You could also use the Mentee Toolkit for more ideas. 12-months months on from now, I would like to have achieved … 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Remember: your mentor can help you to refine these statements to measurable and realistic goals to be monitored, achieved and celebrated as part of your mentoring experience. Mentee Preparation Workbook (Version 3.0) © Australian Mentor Centre, 2009-2011. 2009 All Rights Reserved.


Questions to Consider – A Little Reflection … Mentee Tip #3 Mentoring is about a partnership.

As part of your preparation for a meaningful mentoring experience, take a moment to consider your answers to these questions: What does confidentiality in a mentoring partnership mean to me …

This means that both your and your mentor need to jointly accept responsibility for building the partnership itself. To discuss how you want to build your partnership consider three questions:

I see my responsibilities/obligations responsibilities in the mentoring partnership as …

What do we want to ‘be’ in our mentoring partnership? What do we want to ‘do’ in our mentoring partnership?

Possible challenges to my mentoring partnership may include …

What do we want to ‘achieve’ in our mentoring partnership? I consider the involvement of my manager will be …

I’d like to be able to describe my mentoring partnership like this …

PARTNERSHIP LINK. Your mentor will be exploring a similar set of reflective questions during their education session. Make time in your first few meetings to use these questions (and others that you both formulate) to ensure you have shared expectations with respect to your mentoring partnership.

Mentee Preparation Workbook (Version 3.0) © Australian Mentor Centre, 2009-2011. 2009 All Rights Reserved.


Developing Your Mentoring Partnership … Mentee Tip #4 ‘Entertain hardships while they are still easy. Address great issues while they are small. The wise take precaution, and anticipate difficulties with ease and preparation. And manage to accomplish great things.’

Developing your mentoring partnership is an active part of the mentoring experience. One thing is certain – your mentoring partnership won’t develop without some consistent action on your part. Like any relationship, it requires quires effort, commitment and interest – an interest in the process of the partnership and the potential outcomes (in this case your learning and development goals). Nearly all models that describe the mentoring process, can be grouped into three key phases: 1. 2. 3.

Starting the mentoring partnership (Preparation) Undertaking and monitoring the mentoring partnership (Agreement Agreement and Action Action) Wrapping or re-defining the mentoring partnership (Evaluation Wrapping-up ation)

What activities or skills might you use as the mentee in each stage of the partnership to help it be successful? Note these down below. I can help our partnership to start well by …

(Tao Mentoring, Cultivate Collaborative Relationships in All Areas of Your Life)

I can help our partnership to be successfully undertaken and monitored by …

I can assist in evaluating our mentoring partnership by …

PARTNERSHIP LINK. Think critically about the process of your mentoring partnership and talk these three questions through with your mentor. Remember - your mentor needs feedback from you throughout the mentoring partnership to ensure they are meeting your needs. Plus – your Mentoring Partnership Agreement is a great tool to help you monitor your mentoring partnership – it helps guide the activities with your mentor ((Hint: so don’t just do the agreement and then put it to one side – bring it out every couple of meetings). And, ensure that you discuss what the ‘no fault exit clause’ means to you. It’s important that you both understand the reason for and importance of this ‘safety net’ in your mentoring partnership. Mentee Preparation Workbook (Version 3.0) © Australian Mentor Centre, 2009-2011. 2009 All Rights Reserved.


Building Healthy H Mentoring Habits … Mentee Tip #5 What sorts of habits do you need as a mentee? Consider these tips:

A habit is something we do on a regular basis. Healthy mentoring habits are activities that we undertake to help our mentoring experience be a productive one. Healthy mentoring habits apply to both mentors and mentees. Take a moment now to explore these questions. What skills/activities/actions /activities/actions do you think might be ‘healthy mentoring habits’ for you to use as a mentee?

Be open to new perspectives from your mentor – grow from a different perspective than your own. Be sincere and open when working with your mentor – value building the trust and rapport in your relationship. Acknowledge your mentor’s assistance – remember to say thank you and provide feedback to your mentor. Keep in contact – don’t have your mentor ‘chasing’ you down.

What habits do you have that might need to be ‘monitored’ so as not to jeopardise your mentoring partnership (eg. silently debating a speaker in your head) head)? Mentoring may be an opportunity to strengthen or develop this aspect of your interpersonal style.

What current strategies do you use (eg. FISH! philosophy, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, preparing a meeting agenda) agenda that may help you in your mentee role?

Remember – it’s your career, so while your mentor is there to help, ultimately you need to be proactive in seeking the mentoring guidance you need. Enjoy the experience!

PARTNERSHIP LINK. What do you have to offer your mentor? Reflect on the answers that you have provided above. Be prepared to discuss with your mentor the following:  

Habits you have that will strengthen the mentoring partnership Habits where you may need some support to improve upon as part of the mentoring partnership

Remember – your mentor is there to assist you – so be open and honest. Mentee Preparation Workbook (Version 3.0) © Australian Mentor Centre, 2009-2011. 2009 All Rights Reserved.


Action Items – I Need to Attend to … Mentee Tip #6 Consider your communication strategies. Options include: Face-to-face Email Telephone Chat (Skype/MSN) Video-conference Web-cam Snail-mail Fax SMS (text) Remember! It’s all mentoring – these are just different methods to manage your mentoring partnership. The same level of commitment, interest and motivation is required, regardless of your ‘mix’ of communication strategies.

This is your personal ‘action items’ list. As you prepare to move your mentoring partnership forward and in light of this workbook and your own reflections, take a moment now to record items that you need to action OR questions that you need to ask or have answered, to ensure you and your mentor are on the way to a terrific mentoring partnership. Action items: I need to attend to /questions I need to ask/answer are … 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

And a final note … ‘Great beings accomplish through perseverance. Steadfast movement on consistent paths leads to success. With heart full of compassion, uninterrupted joy and good fortune are inevitable.’ (Tao Mentoring, Cultivate Collaborative Relationships in All Areas of Your Life)

‘Achievement is largely the product of steadily raising one’s level of aspiration and expectation.’ (Jack Nicklaus, golfer)

Mentee Preparation Workbook (Version 3.0) © Australian Mentor Centre, 2009-2011. All Rights Reserved.