Goal setting is at the heart of every successful mentoring relationship.
Though the mentee might have a general idea of what they want to accomplish, they may not know the steps they need to get there. And that’s where the mentor comes in. Mentors help mentees set and achieve their goals—but the goal setting shouldn’t stop there.
Mentors should also set personal goals for themselves!
A good mentor/mentee relationship is a mutually beneficial mentoring partnership. The mentorship program should help develop a mentor’s leadership skills, as well as help the mentee learn, grow and improve their own skills.
If you’re entering a mentoring program, check out these mentorship goals for the mentor and the mentee.
5 Goals Mentees Should Set During a Mentorship
Mentorship program participants are called “mentees,” and they’re essentially the students in this scenario. Mentees need to learn how to set goals. But even more important is for them to receive the tools necessary to achieve those goals.
If you’re a mentee, consider these goals to set throughout the course of your mentorship program.
1. Goal Setting
Mentoring pairs must work together on goal setting at the very start of their relationship. As the mentee, it’s key to outline what you wish to gain from the mentorship first, so you can benefit from the program as much as possible.
What do you want to get out of this mentorship? Do you want to improve your communication skills or learn how to close deals with clients? Are you looking for a fresh perspective on decades-old problems?
Be sure to tell your mentor whatever your ideal outcome is, and have them help you construct a reasonable timeframe to get there. From here, work alongside your mentor to set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound) short-term and long-term goals.
Short-term goals should have a more tangible due date, like before the mentoring program ends. Long-term goals can be set a few years in the future. Regardless of their due date, each goal should be directly tied to your overall purpose.
As you set your goals, remember to address each objective you’ll need to achieve along the way. What tools do you need to get there? Do you have the support you need? Create detailed notes (and refer back to them!) as you move through the mentorship program.
2. Skills Development
A mentoring program is a perfect opportunity to learn the tricks of the trade directly from someone on your desired career path. So, setting skill-specific goals is key during a mentorship. The skills you gain from your mentor can add value and move you along your existing business or entrepreneurial career path.
For example, if your career is in sales, a possible activity to complete with your mentor is practicing cold calling. Not only do you get the guidance of an expert, but you also receive their full, undivided attention as you hone your skills.
Not to mention, skills development goes hand-in-hand with professional development. Adding new skills to your professional toolbox can ensure you’re not just good at what you do… you’re great at it.
3. Career Planning
You can become a mentee at any stage in life—and at any stage of your career. Whether you’re just getting your foot in the door or have your eyes set on a leadership position, mentorships that focus on career-planning goals can help get you there.
Work with your mentor to identify your professional and personal goals as well as your long-term career path:
- How much money do you need to make each year to support your family?
- How much money do you want to make to feel comfortable?
- Where do you want to be 5 years from now?
- When do you want to retire?
Focus on career development throughout your mentorship program. It can give you a clear picture of the goals you need to set, skills you need to learn and people you need to meet to excel in your field.
4. Problem Solving
Problem-solving skills are a necessity, both in life and in business. Because let’s be real: Life can suck sometimes, and you need to be prepared to roll with the punches. Mentorships that focus on problem solving can help you develop quick thinking skills, along with the courage to face difficult situations head-on.
Worried about a potential roadblock in your career? Consult with your mentor. Chances are, they’ve been there and done that (numerous times).
Frustrated with a slump in your business? Talk it through with your mentor—they’ve been down that road before, too.
The next time you encounter a problem, log it away. Then, make it a point to discuss it with your mentor, so the two of you can think of multiple solutions together. While you’re at it, discuss the pros and cons of each solution.
Establish problem-solving goals with your mentor to strengthen your ability to look at these situations objectively, analyze the key facts and brainstorm a solution. This process can gear you with as much knowledge as possible before you set off on your own.
Though you may not have entered your mentorship with networking on the brain, you might want to change that ASAP. Mentorships that set networking goals allow the mentee to expand their professional connections, so they can continue to learn from peers long after the mentoring program ends. These connections can open doors to new professional opportunities, and you might even find additional mentors.
There are a lot of different networking goals that you and your mentor can set. You can attend a professional conference or event together and make it a point to leave with at least 5 business cards. In the digital landscape, you can join a shared webinar or a new room in Clubhouse. Make it a goal to secure 5 new LinkedIn connections or email addresses by the end of the talk.
5 Objectives Mentors Should Have While Mentoring
Though mentors might be role models for their mentees, the mentorship can still be a chance for the mentor to learn and grow personally and professionally. Throughout a mentorship program, a mentor should set their own goals as well. In other words, the mentor must also be their own mentor.
If you’re a mentor to mentees, students or your colleagues, be sure to set these 5 goals for yourself.
1. Leadership Skills
Leaders never stop learning. In the course of your leadership role, make it a goal to further develop your leadership skills:
- How can you become more self-aware of how mentees and students perceive you?
- How can you better motivate and support others?
- What tools would make the mentorship process easier?
Working on your leadership skills will not only benefit your mentee, but it will help you become a better manager, team member and employee. Striving to improve these skills also challenges you to develop a growth mindset for yourself, which you can pass along to your mentee.
2. Communication Skills
Mentors are life’s teachers. And the most important teaching skill is good communication. When you communicate well, you can listen, understand and guide your mentee, so make it a goal to improve your communication throughout the mentoring relationship.
If you don’t know where to start improving your communication skills, always look for feedback while mentoring. Where does your mentee feel you can improve? What do they need that you haven’t communicated to them? These questions can shape your goals.
Similarly, mentoring can require you to practice constructive criticism as well as encouragement. Learning how to help someone grow must be done delicately—and, by its very nature, it will help you grow as well.
3. New Perspectives
While you and your mentee may have a lot in common, you may also be very different. Despite your similarities, you may come from different backgrounds or use different phrases, thinking processes and goal-setting methods. Just because you’re the expert doesn’t mean you can’t learn new perspectives!
Use the mentorship as a chance to learn how to communicate or approach problems differently. Navigating the mentoring program means an awesome opportunity to gain a fresh perspective and learn new ways of thinking.
Set goals to think outside of the box and push the boundaries of how you normally operate. These goals can make you productive in both your work life and your personal life.
4. Professional Development
In the decade of digital learning, it’s never been more important to flex your professional development skills. While your mentee sets their own professional and career development goals, you should do the same. Take time to refine your skills and strengthen your performance, whether that be in the digital classroom or in the boardroom.
Add additional skills to your professional toolkit, or set goals to improve your general soft skills. With the wide range of knowledge brokers available on the internet, you need to stand out from the crowd and show future students that you’ve got what it takes to help them succeed.
5. Personal Satisfaction
In the hustle and bustle of furthering your professional career, don’t forget about setting personal goals as well. For you and your mentee, find a life balance between what you accomplish personally and professionally. Both of you can use the mentorship program as an opportunity to reap some serious personal satisfaction over your own goals.
One personal goal to set can be celebrating your mentee’s accomplishments. It can be majorly fulfilling to know your knowledge directly contributed to your mentee’s growth and development. Set a personal goal to relish that moment as much as possible!
And remember that not all goals have to be business related. Set a few personal goals for yourself, like cooking dinner with your family once a week or not looking at your phone on Sunday mornings. By making and setting personal goals with your mentee, you can be a role model for finding their necessary life balance.
How Do You Monitor Mentee and Mentor Goals?
What good are goals if you can’t measure them? Throughout the mentorship, make it a point to periodically return to both the mentor and the mentee’s goals and check your progress. Along the way, you may realize that certain short-term goals aren’t feasible in a quick time frame, or that long-term goals have a high potential of being accomplished sooner.
But remember this: There’s no shame in pivoting goals along the way.
To ensure both mentee and mentor get the most out of the partnership, openly discuss your goals and the progress you’ve made. Make changes where either of you sees fit. This can help both of you remain accountable for your individual successes and serve as motivation to reach the finish line.
What Mentorship Goals Will You Set?
Goal setting is key to a successful mentoring relationship. When both the mentee and the mentor enter a mentoring program with individual goals, it paves the way for a productive and enlightening experience for everyone involved.
What mentorship goals will you set for your next mentorship program?