Managing Meeting Time: Mentors and Mentorees
Determine how often you'll meet, for how long, and where.
How Often & How Long
Face-to-face meetings should last between 60 and 90 minutes, and you should meet weekly (especially when you're first matched) to every other week. If you're a long-term planner, map out a meeting schedule for three to six months. Otherwise, bring your calendars to each meeting and then schedule the next one at the close of your meeting. Mentors should also prepare a brief, but targeted, meeting agenda, which includes topics for discussion. This will help the meeting stay on track.
Meetings should take place OUTSIDE the mentor's and mentee's offices. Meet in a location with minimal traffic and interruptions (that means no cell phones or pagers). However, we do recommend meeting on company premises, such as a conference room. The setting is still "structured" and business-oriented, yet you eliminate other office distractions like e-mail, phone calls, and people dropping by your desk.
If you want to meet outside the company, we recommend breakfast or lunch. Evenings can be a little less professional, and people tend to be tired. And if you're convinced that you "have no time," remember you need to take a lunch break-the mentoring meeting won't add to your "work schedule."
When You Can't Meet Face-to-Face
If you can't meet face-to-face, schedule weekly phone calls for 30 minutes or biweekly calls for 60-90 minutes. Don't let phone calls turn into "mentoring moments" instead of mentoring sessions. Have an agenda that you each receive (and review) by fax or e-mail ahead of time. E-mail is NOT an effective tool for mentoring. Use it to send agendas and confirm appointments-that's it!
To get more great tips on Mentoring Programs, click here.