When we go into an organization to train mentoring pairs, most of the participants don't know each other or know very little about each other. It's an awkward moment for most people meeting for the first time to engage in, what should become, a deep developmental relationship.
To break the ice, the first activity we normally start with is a "Getting to Know You" exercise. Each person has a list of questions that they ask of their partner and that the partner asks of them. These are fun questions that can reveal a lot about a person in a short period of time and also bring some levity and humor to a first meeting.
Here are three questions that are asked:
1. Who is the person, living or dead, you would most want to meet and why?
You get all kinds of answers (The Pope, a President, a pop star) but sometimes you get names you never heard of and it opens a whole new vista for you.
2. What is the most daredevil thing you've ever done and how was that experience?
This one can reveal truly amazing things. In my career, responses have ranged from sky diving to working with native population in the Amazon, to climbing the Himalayas. This can tell you a lot of the type of person you're matched with.
3. What's your favorite food?
I know this one seems cliché but I've seen partners get excited about sharing something in common or, better yet, being exposed to food they've never thought of trying. It also gives you a head start on where to eat if your mentoring session takes place over lunch!
If you have any questions about other mentoring ideas that you are brainstorming, please don't hesitate to contact us. Or, if you have some ideas you would like to share, please feel free to leave us comments below!
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