Start relationship with a Mentor

We're really pleased you have been able to link up with a mentor through Mentor Connect. As you start out on this mentoring relationship we thought it might help to offer some guidelines for your early meetings.

Clarify expectations

At the start it is important to establish clear expectations. When mentoring relationships don't go well it can normally be traced back to unclear expectations, so here are a few things to talk through early on:
  • Purpose: why are you meeting? What has led you to seek a mentor? What are you hoping to get out of the relationship?
  • Time frame: initially how many sessions are you committed to? Four, six, ten?
  • Frequency: how often are you going to meet? One a month (probably the normal), every six weeks, two months?
  • Length of meeting: how long will you meet for? One hour, 90 minutes, two hours?
  • Location: where are you going to meet?
  • Preparation: how are you going to prepare for the meeting? Often it helps if the mentee sends the mentor an email two days before the meeting identifying the things they would like to talk about this time.
  • Commitment: on what basis can a meeting be cancelled?
  • Prayer: what part does prayer play in this mentoring relationship?
  • Affirmation and challenge: what level of affirmation and challenge are you looking for? What is the best way for the mentor to offer these?
  • Accountability: in what way is the mentor going to hold you accountable to any developmental steps you identify you want to take?
  • Communication between meetings: what level of communication will there be between meetings? None, an occasional email to update the mentor, phone calls?
  • Payment: there is no charge for mentoring through Mentor Connect, however, it is expected that all expenses are paid for by the mentee i.e. if you meet in a coffee shop then you get the coffees, or if the mentor has to travel to the meeting then you covers their travel costs.
  • Confidentiality: what does this look like? On what grounds will the mentor break confidentiality and how will they do that?
  • Evaluation: how are you both going to evaluate how things are going? Briefly at the end of each session, every three or four sessions, after six sessions?

Be committed

Mentoring provides a great environment for support, perspective, challenge, accountability and wisdom. Make the most of it by being committed to the relationship. Be sure to arrive on time for your meetings, hopefully having not just rushed from something else! Work on the agreed action points. Be open and as vulnerable as makes sense in the relationship, talking honestly about real things.

If at any point you have any questions about mentoring take a look at our FAQs page, and if you don't find answer there do contact us.

We pray your time with your mentor will be a rich resource for your development as a leader.

Stop Relationship with a Mentee

Your mentoring relationship has come to its end. We hope that it has been a useful time and that through it you have grown in your discipleship and leadership.

We take feedback seriously, and would be very grateful if you would provide us with any information on how to improve the service we offer through Mentor Connect. We would really appreciate your contribution as it will inform developments of the site and our mentors.

There are two financial aspects to Mentor Connect:
1. Mentors offer their services without charge. Some mentors draw a salary from another role, others rely on mentoring as part of their income stream. You may like to consider making a donation to your mentor. This is of course entirely voluntary.
2. Mentor Connect is operated by four charities, and leaders are connected with a mentor without charge. Inevitably there are significant running costs, and if you would like to make a donation to the development of Mentor Connect and the training of further mentors, please contact us.

A mentor is exploring your mentoring

You recently made a request to a mentor to explore the possibility of them being your mentor. They have agreed to explore this with you and should be in touch in the next few days via the email address you entered when making the request.

At this stage the mentor is simply committed to a single meeting (as are you) to explore whether you would be a good match as mentor and mentee. This meeting is normally held face-to-face, but might be done via Skype (or equivalent).

The purpose of the meeting is to get to know one another a little and see if what you are asking for can be matched by what the mentor has to offer.

A mentor has declined your mentoring

You recently made a request to a mentor to explore the possibility of them being your mentor. Sadly they have decided that they aren't able to offer to mentor you at this time. This may be for a number of reasons. The most common are:
  • Reading your request they may not feel they have the right experience and skills to be your mentor.
  • They may not be available to mentor at this time due to other mentoring relationships they are committed to.
Please try not to take this personally. It is very common for people to approach several mentors before they find the right one, so please do search again.