Stages of mentoring relationships


Today we review what CYBF identifies as the three stages of a mentoring relationship. I’ve added in my mentorship experiences to showcase what they look like in real-time; note that these experiences are highlighting informal mentoring relationships. You can discover more in Module 2 of CYBF’s Mentorship Crash Course.

1. Establishing the relationship

Your role: Mentorship is a dance and you’re leading. Set yourself up for success by openly sharing and building connection with your mentor. Be fully prepared and show your enthusiasm.

What to expect: Your mentor will reciprocate to the degree that you demonstrate your engagement and commitment to the relationship. They’re excited and curious about how this relationship will develop.

When I met my mentor, Dev Aujla,  at a conference, I followed up immediately via e-mail to set up a meeting. I regularly made check-in phone calls; about 5-10 minutes in length approximately once every 2-3 weeks when I was starting my business. Then our interactions became lesser in frequency as myself and my business matured and I found more supports.

As much as I would share about my business, I would sometimes share the personal struggles I was facing, as it impacted my business. Dev will be the first person to tell you that my vulnerability is what made and makes our relationship such a great mentoring relationship. While there are boundaries you do need to keep; you’ll learn what’s appropriate through experimentation and feedback.

2. Maintaining the relationship

Your role: Set new goals each meeting and recap the progress from previous sessions. Continually express your gratitude for their commitment to you and your business.

What to expect: Your mentor will feed off the energy of your progress. They want to know how the time they are investing into you is making a difference.

Another one of my mentors (we’ll use the alias Rachel), will tell you that I always come into our conversations with intentional topics or questions to discuss. I update her on my progress via e-mail or in our following conversation. She’ll also tell you that I always express how grateful I am for her time, insights and the opportunities she forwards me. I express it via e-mail, in person or by sharing with others how highly I think of her.

“About two or three weeks after we connected I found a wonderful full-time job. I’m currently the Community and Content Manager for a company called MENTORnetwork which connects entrepreneurs to mentors. Pretty much a dream job! Thank you so much for your support in this past year and half, it’s meant the world to me and has contributed to my confidence and wisdom.”

Rachel was my former supervisor in a previous job; I stayed in touch since we became quite close over the course of our working relationship and always felt supported, encouraged and inspired by her.

3. Ending the relationship

Your role: Have a completion meeting to review all of the progress you have made over the duration of your mentoring relationship.

What to expect: The relationship will likely not come to an end- it may just become less formal. Your mentor may continue to be a source of support.

Comment below and let us know how you’ve been finding the CYBF Mentorship Crash course. Next week we’ll be exploring the content in Module 3- Successful habits for mentoring relationships.


One Response to “Stages of mentoring relationships”

  1. Jane Smithson says:

    Hi Mentor Network,

    Can I have your permission to use the picture you have here (person helping another move up a rock) on your Word press page? I would like to use it for a university course assignment I am doing on mentorship? Jane Smithson.

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