When mentors and mentees begin their journey together, one of the important topics of discussion involves mentoring goals. This article will provide information about smart mentoring goals examples and how to implement them in the organization.
What Are Mentoring Goals?
Mentoring goals are the long-term and short-term goals that the mentee sets for himself or herself. The long-term goals tend to be a larger goal (e.g. become a stronger leader) and the short-term goals are the “mini” goals that need to happen along the way in order to achieve the big goal (e.g. take part in a webinar series on developing leadership skills).
The mentee gets the final say on the goals, but he or she should seek input from the mentor. The first couple of meetings should involve this goal-setting discussion.
How many goals should a mentee aim for?
Like so many things in life, it depends. Be realistic. The most successful mentoring relationships are ones where both the mentor and mentee believe the mentee is making progress, not feeling overwhelmed or disappointed.
How do you break down big mentee goals into mini-goals?
Goal setting is an art, not a science. Everyone has their own strategy for making and achieving goals. That said, most of us can likely agree that the way to achieve big goals is to break them down into smaller parts. The nature of the mentoring relationship—the fact that it lasts 9-12 months—makes it ideal for setting mini-goals.
The analogy we like to use is this one: if you decide to run a marathon, that’s a goal—a big one. The mini-goals might include buying proper running shoes, downloading a running app, getting up an hour earlier each day to run, running a certain amount in the first month, running another amount in month four, and so forth.
Do the same with your mentoring goals. If your goal is to become a stronger leader by the end of your mentorship program, what steps do you need to take along the way? This might include:
- Reading certain books on leadership
- Attending webinars/seminars on developing leadership skills
- Volunteering for a leadership role in an upcoming project
You get the idea.
Note that the mentee does the heavy lifting. The mentee reads the books, attends the webinars, volunteers for the project. The mentor offers support, feedback, and advice, but the mentor is not coaching the mentee on how to be a leader. That’s an essential difference between mentoring and coaching. In fact, one of the mini-goals for the mentee might be to engage the help of a coach for 6-8 weeks.
What if you realize that you have too many big mentorship goals?
That’s OK! One of the reasons we recommend breaking down the big goals into mini-goals is because it will quickly become clear if you’ve taken on too much. It’s perfectly okay to revise your mentorship goals. A mentoring relationship should leave you feeling invigorated and accomplished, not stressed and frustrated.
Also read: What Skills Do You Need To Be A Mentor?
Mentoring Goals Examples
Mentorship goals run the gamut, and over 25+ years, I’ve heard them all. Some common mentee goals that I have come across are listed below.
- Leadership skills
- Confidence skills
- Public speaking/presentation skills
- Life/work balance
- Becoming a better manager/working with teams
- Career trajectories/next steps/5-year plans
- People skills
What if the mentor and mentee need help for setting mentoring goals?
If the mentor and mentee are struggling with this important step, they should reach out to the mentoring program manager (MPM). The MPM can provide guidance, objective advice, and a brainstorming session. Another way is to check out examples of good mentoring goals in the organization. It will help in understanding which goals make the best impact on the performance of a mentee.
Setting up mentoring goals is a crucial part of the process that determines the success of the mentoring program . Both mentor and mentee must take different aspects into consideration while crafting their goals.
A quick and efficient way of setting up mentoring goals is by using automated tools such as Mentoring Complete. It helps in creating a perfect mentor mentee match by using proprietary algorithms and helps them set up both short and long term goals.
We hope the mentorship goals mentioned in the article will help you in achieving your career goals.
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