Welcome to the Greetings and Goals Module

The goal of this module is to establish your mentor/mentee relationship and set clear expectations using our tips for respectful communication and interaction.

Approximate Time Commitment

Total time for this module
One hour to 90 minutes.

Time required for activities prior to team meeting
Mentor and Mentee: 15 to 30 minutes to review the handouts prior to your first team meeting.

Time needed for team meeting
45 minutes to an hour. This meeting can occur in person, by phone, or via a video-conferencing.

Activities

1. Conduct your first first mentor/mentee meeting.
2. Make introductions and get acquainted with one another.
3. Select the Skills that Shine modules to be completed over the coming months.
4. Determine the next meeting date/time/place and establish your future schedule of meetings.

Dos and Dont's for mentors and mentees

A mentor DOES:

  • Listen and serve as a sounding board for your mentee.
  • Constructively criticize areas where your mentee can improve. Focus on your mentee’s behavior and not their character.
  • Support and facilitate: Share your network, experience, lessons learned and offer assistance if needed.
  • Teach by example by adhering to the highest values in every area of life.
  • Encourage and motivate mentees to “stretch”, or move beyond their comfort zone.
  • Promote balance by demonstrating the importance of balancing professional and personal obligations.
  • Take pride in the success of your mentee. Recognize the power of your mentorship and how your expertise can make an impact on your mentee.

A mentor DOES NOT:

  • Protect a mentee from experiences. Mentors are not problem-solvers for their mentee.
  • Take over conversations or dictate what your mentee should say or do in a certain situation.
  • Force a mentee into a direction or decision.
  • Try and influence your mentee and his or her academic or professional decisions.
  • Condemn your mentee. Do not convey that honest mistakes are career-altering disasters.

A mentee DOES:

  • Take initiative by recognizing the need for mentorship and seek out guidance.
  • Avoid perfectionism and accept that they will make mistakes and will learn from them.
  • Maintain a balance in their life. Take and make time for friends and family.
  • Work hard and be prepared to give their very best.
  • Support their peers by exchanging personal and professional support with fellow Scholars and mentees.
  • Know that true results may take a very long time. Persistence can pay off if you are steady and consistent in your efforts.
  • Be open to new experiences. Experiencing something new can open your eyes to new ways of doing things.
  • Seek support and guidance from a variety of sources. Seek out advice and/or counseling if you are experiencing other stressors such as depression or burnout.

A mentee DOES NOT:

  • Avoid difficulties or expect a mentor to solve all of your problems or concerns.
  • Presume future employment. Do not expect your mentor to be your future boss or colleague.
  • Sidestep their work. Don’t expect your mentor or others to do the work for you.
  • Stay in their comfort zone. Don’t shy away from a potential new learning experience.
  • Take advantage of their mentorship relationship as a way to avoid working.
  • Withhold their concerns. Share concerns and frustrations with your mentor. Concerns and frustrations are part of being human.
  • Let their ego get in the way. Recognize that every person you meet has something to share and something to teach you.


Before, During, and After

Before

  • Do your homework. Research the company where your mentor works. Learn what the company does, and the products or services it provides. Study your mentor’s profile (e.g., LinkedIn) if available.
  • Remember that your mentor is volunteering his or her time. Your mentor is investing in your future as a Scholar and as a professional. Please be on time, be prepared to ask meaningful questions, take notes and plan to end your meeting on schedule. Make your mentor proud!
  • Prepare to ask good questions. Think about the questions you want answered and the career guidance you seek from your mentor. You could ask how your mentor got started in their business or company. Or ask what he or she studied in school. Prepare a list of questions for your first meeting.

During

  • Greet your mentor professionally with a handshake and a smile.
  • Listen to your mentors advice, responses and comments. Be open to learning all you can from your mentor. He/she is a seasoned professional with lots of great advice and experience to pass on to you. Ask lots of questions and listen carefully.
  • Take notes so that you can reflect on what was said.
  • If there is a task involved, complete the assignment and follow up as needed.
  • If you feel like you need to dig deeper into a specific topic related to building your professional skills, you can always ask your mentor for additional time to further explore the topic.
  • Thank your mentor for his or her time.

After

  • Reflect on what was said and how you can best utilize the information learned. Reflect on how the meeting was helpful. Think about what was said, whether or not you liked the answers you received, it all may be helpful! Write down questions to ask during your next meeting (if available).
  • Thank your mentor with a card or an email letting them know how valuable the experience was.

First Meeting with Your Mentor

DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE

Go online and research news or information about the company where your mentor works. Look for recent news releases, company history, available products and/or services, etc. Try to find the names of the team of individuals your mentor works alongside. You can also study your mentor’s LinkedIn profile or read their bio on the company/agency website.

PREPARE GOOD QUESTIONS

Well before your initial meeting, sit down and really think about your career goals and what you want to learn from your mentor. Examples may include increasing your professional network, guidance, and/or introductions to others. Prepare a list of essential questions you want to ask your mentor. Anticipate the questions your mentor may ask.

ASK IF FOLLOW-UP IS POSSIBLE

Be appreciative and thoughtful of your mentors time, by ending your meeting on schedule. End the meeting by asking if additional meetings are possible. If so, schedule the first one with an agenda item to develop a meeting schedule (if possible).

EVALUATE YOUR EXPERIENCE

What did you learn from the session? How did it encourage you? Did you feel more fulfilled at the end than you did at the beginning? Thinking through these things can help you begin to draft new questions and identify goals for future sessions.

DO NOT THROW EVERYTHING AT THE MENTOR AT ONCE

The second session can allow for further exploration of expectations and goal-setting. Be sure to keep your expectations realistic. Setting specific and measurable goals will allow you and your mentor to better track your progress and maximize the overall success of your mentorship relationship.

ALL MEETINGS WITH YOUR MENTOR

Be prepared.

Prepare yourself for each meeting. Have questions ready and bring along any materials that will support your discussion. There is always something to discuss because events have occurred between your current meeting and the last one. An issue need not be a big one – sometimes it’s the simple things that can lead to great discussions and insights.

Keep an open mind

A mentoring relationship is not meant to necessarily make you comfortable with where you are. It should, in fact, challenge you both professionally and personally. For instance, you may wish to discuss a topic that could be awkward or uncomfortable for you, such as a lack of confidence. Or perhaps you want to discuss a specific personal or cultural issue that you feel could impact your career. Your mentor may challenge you to do something out of your comfort zone like volunteering for a specific event. Be open-minded and understand that taking risks is an integral part of your professional development.

Think commitment, not lip service

Regular, ongoing contact is one of the most important building blocks for a successful mentoring relationship. Agree to meet with your Mentor on a regular basis and avoid canceling appointments.

Be yourself.

Your mentor wants you to be yourself, and to get to know who you are and what you want out of this mentorship experience. That foundation will make it easier for your mentor to maximize his or her time and have the biggest impact.

Take notes.

It is highly unlikely you will remember everything that was said during the session. Make sure you write down any advice or tips you want to remember later.

Abandon your ego.

Please remember that your mentor is there to serve as a source of knowledge—not a source of validation. Even if your mentor challenges some of your assumptions or questions the validity of an expectation, keep listening. They are offering you insights that you should accept with humility. Differences of opinion are common in the workplace too and help refine our perspectives.

Be open to learning unexpected lessons.

Over the course of meeting with your mentor, you might be exposed to knowledge that seems unrelated or indirectly related to your career path. Take it all in. It may prove useful to you one day as you join a project team, or see this person again later in your career, or you consider cross-training into a related field down the road. Try to be a “sponge”.

Don’t wait for permission.

Your mentor can help you discover new ideas, meet new people and help you create a road map for success. Then it’s up to you to take the next steps on your own. Take risks, create opportunities, make decisions and then report back at your next mentoring session. Your mentor will be there to help you navigate the waters.

ALL MEETINGS WITH YOUR MENTOR

Celebrate their generosity.

It is important to remember that your mentor is giving back and paying forward – an action grounded in generosity and gratitude for those that touched their lives early in their career. Be intentional about showing your gratitude for their kindness to you. Also, as you achieve your goals, share your accomplishments with your mentor. You achieving your goals will mean so much to them.

LAST MEETING WITH YOUR MENTOR

Give back and get more.

Often, mentors do not think to ask how their mentee has benefitted from the relationship. Take the time to share those examples with your mentor. Sharing how a mentor has been helpful to you gives them valuable guidance on how they can be more helpful in the future with other mentees.

Cultural Intelligence Discussion

Cultural intelligence refers to an individual’s capability to function effectively across cultures – this can include national, ethnic, organizational, as well as other types of culture. When you enter any type of relationship (professional or personal), there are differences that you will notice and may have to adapt to (whether you want to or not). Many of us are bi- or multi-cultural as it pertains to our environments, for example: how we interact at work, at school, with friends, through our language, the way we dress, and our family values and how we practice them.

EXAMPLE

Internships can showcase the cultural differences within organizations and within disciplines. For example: a clinic is different than a hospital and a non-profit clinic is different than a for-profit clinic. The work may be the same, but the purpose (environment, specific clientele or communities or specializations) of the work may be different.

In a mentoring relationship, some mentors may be more formal than casual due to their personal backgrounds and/or professional experiences. In relationships, we need to adapt, but this does not change who we are or change who others are. The way we respond makes us bi/multi-cultural in adapting to different environments.

When you start your mentoring relationship, view it as a professional relationship – not a personal one. You may not become best buddies, but you will gain a wise mentor to help you develop specific skills and gain knowledge that enhances your professional and personal growth.

Questions for the Team

We encourage you to ask the first ten questions after you read the Cultural Intelligences Discussion (five questions for mentor to mentee; five questions for mentee to mentor). This is to be an open, honest discussion to help your team be as productive as possible, to consider challenges, and to get advice and recommendations. Review these questions before meeting so that you can think through your responses and think of other questions to ask.

REQUIRED QUESTIONS FOR THE FIRST MEETING – AFTER READING THE CULTURAL INTELLIGENCES DISCUSSION

Mentor to mentee

  • How do you best learn information?
  • How do you best take-in or learn information from others?
  • How are you most comfortable presenting information to others? In writing or verbally? Why?
  • How would you describe casual attire versus workplace attire? Do you think wearing casual versus workplace attire changes the impression you make in the workplace?
  • Name a family value that you would like to see reflected in your work.

Mentee to Mentor

  • How do you best learn information?
  • How do you best take-in or learn information from others?
  • How are you most comfortable presenting information to others? In writing or verbally? Why?
  • How would you describe casual attire versus workplace attire? Do you think wearing casual versus workplace attire changes the impression you make in the workplace?
  • Name a family value that you would like to see reflected in your work.

SUGGESTED QUESTIONS FOR USE

Mentor to mentee

  • Tell me about your background and how it led to your choice in your college or university and the discipline you are studying.
  • What would you ultimately like to do after you earn your degree?
  • In what community activities have you been involved?
  • Have you had a job before? If so, what types of jobs have you had?
  • Do any of your community activities or previous work experience relate to your field of choice?
  • How would you describe your work/study style?
  • Are you associated in any student and/or community organizations?
  • At this point in your academic and professional journey, in what areas of professional development are you most interested in my help or guidance?
  • What accomplishment are you most proud of?
  • If a specific question comes up, may I follow up with you? What is the best way to do so – phone, email or text?
  • What kind of work environment are you looking for?
  • What would help you thrive?
  • What kinds of projects would you like to work on?
  • What parts of your chosen field do you anticipate to be most challenging?

Mentee questions to mentor

  • What attracted you to your current company?
  • Describe what an “average” day at work looks like.
  • Tell me about your _______________ practice, including your specialty or area of interest.
  • Describe one value that you have that may be different than your friends or colleagues.
  • How are your values reflected in your work?
  • What type of clients or customers does your company serve?
  • Have you been a mentor before? If so, what suggestions would you have for me? If not, what do you expect from our relationship?
  • Are you involved in any community activities?
  • How would you describe your work style?
  • Are you associated with any professional organizations?
  • What accomplishment are you most proud of?
  • If a specific question comes up, may I follow up with you? If so, what is the best way to do so – phone, email or text?
  • Is there anyone else that you recommend I connect with?
  • Please describe your work environment. What do you enjoy about it?
  • What kind of career/office changes have you experienced in your professional life?

Skills That Shine List of Modules

This program is broken down into different modules. The first two modules are required.

Each module includes:

  • Goals and/or objectives
  • Activities
  • Required readings or activity sheets
  • Suggested reading materials and resources
  • A projected time that will help each team be successful in completing each area.

ORIENTATION (REQUIRED)

GREETINGS AND GOALS (REQUIRED)

APPLYING FOR A CAREER OPPORTUNITY

  • Building a strong cover letter
  • Building a great resume
  • Asking for a letter of recommendation

NAILING THE INTERVIEW

  • Researching a company
  • Using the STAR method
  • Being prepared: Mock interviews

NETWORKING

  • Defining your network
  • Developing your personal pitch
  • Drafting your personal pitch

FIELDING JOB OFFERS

  • Elements of a job offer
  • Understanding your benefits (ex: retirement and health benefits)
  • Understanding the related paperwork

MAPPING YOUR KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES

  • Survey your Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs)
  • Put them into context
  • Learn how to adjust your resume and cover letter to a position using your KSAs

PROFESSIONAL ETIQUETTE

  • Professional communication
  • Your professional image
  • Professional dining etiquette

Download the full module content here: Greetings and Goals module

Suggested Reading Materials and Resources

1. Mentoring Resources at Your Fingertips

2. 7 Habits of Highly Successful Mentors and Mentees

3. Ten Tips for a Successful Mentor/Mentee Relationship

4. How to be a good Mentee

5. A Pathway for Leading in a Rapidly Globalizing World

  • How are you most comfortable presenting information to others? In writing or verbally? Why?
  • How would you describe casual attire versus workplace attire? Do you think wearing casual versus workplace attire change the impression you make in the workplace?
  • What is a family value you would like to see reflected in your work?