The most effective mentoring conversations need to focus on setting and achieving goals, exploring issues and making informed decisions. Just asking a mentor for “any help you can give” is unlikely to lead to a productive mentoring relationship. The relationship needs to have a focus and a purpose to work towards. Goals don’t necessarily need to be big ambitions; they just need to be SMART.
Create SMART goal(s)
What needs to be achieved. Be specific, think about how you could clearly demonstrate you have achieved the goal. For example, Respond to 100% of IT support enquiries within 24 hours of receipt - specific
Respond to IT support calls – not specific.
How will you measure if it has been achieved? For example,” Respond to 100% of IT support calls” – can be measured. “Respond to IT support calls” – is too vague.
Whilst your goal needs to stretch and challenge you, it must be something that is within your control and ability to be able to achieve.
It is reasonable to expect you to set goals only in areas in which you have some influence and not ones that can be derailed completely by factors beyond your control.
A goal should always include a time frame so that you can track progress and ensure it is completed within a realistic timeframe.
When setting your goals and objectives you should also consider identifying possible milestones to achieving these goals which can be used to assess progress at review meetings.
We have made some changes to our mentoring platform to make it easier to set goals and to track your progress towards them. The SMART Goal tool is available to complete when you are in a relationship and will provide the framework to help you to clearly define and set your goals.
Please note that any existing goals in existing relationships will not be affected by these changes.
Using the Goal feature on the relationship dashboard both mentor and mentee can set goals and we have now also added in a new field where you can add in an expected completion date and set an optional reminder.
When the reminder feature is used an email is sent on the due date with a call to action to complete the goal, this link works even if you are not logged in to the mentoring platform.
Only the person who sets the goal can edit it, the mentor/mentee can still view it but not edit it.
Once the goal has been set you can go back at any time and complete the actions shown below.
You can set expected milestones and outcomes at the start of the relationship if you wish and then record the actual milestones and outcomes as they are reached.
Once you have completed your goals you can simply mark the goal as being completed and once all goals have been completed you can mark the mentoring relationship as complete.
We also have a Meetings tool where you can set meetings,
You can use this feature to add a meeting agenda, record points discussed at meetings and any action points. You can also download the meeting information to your usual calendar (outlook, Gmail etc.)
This meeting tool can be used alongside the goals tool to help you progress towards achieving your mentoring goals. We hope that you will find these new features to be beneficial.