Boosting engagement in your sessions is the key to successful mentoring. Both mentors and mentees need to feel excited and engaged in order to have an effective session that will facilitate growth and strengthen the relationship.
Engaging sessions in effective mentoring relationships, has resulted in 87% of mentors and mentees feeling empowered by their relationships and developed greater confidence.
So, how can you up the engagement and reinvigorate your mentoring relationship? Here’s our top 10 tips for mentor-mentee activities to do just that!
1. Coffee chat
In-person meetings build stronger relationships, so the next time you both schedule a session, take it to the great outdoors and grab a coffee or lunch for an in-person session.
It’s been shown in recent years that 83% of Gen Z want managers to care about their life. So, over coffee or a quick bite, you can get to know each other better on a more personal level, discuss your progress, and current events around your work and life.
2. Group mentor-mentee session
If there’s another pair of mentors and mentees with similar interests and goals, you can definitely schedule a group lunch session. That way, you get new perspectives on the same topics, as well as building relationships with your coworkers. When you already have shared interests and goals, mutual understanding and learning will allow for effective mentoring.
3. Attend company mentoring events together
Less casual than grabbing lunch with other mentors and mentees, but attending mentoring events together and talking to other pairs of mentors and mentees will open perspectives on mentoring techniques, and stimulate conversation around what is and isn’t working.
By taking a step back and seeing how other mentoring pairs are working together you can also reignite excitement and energy in your sessions.
4. Job shadowing
Job shadowing allows for mentors to show mentees what they do on a day-to-day basis, giving them insight on the kind of work they do, who they have to interact with, and what kind of skills they may need. A more proactive and interactive mentoring session will help mentees to become more engaged and allow for effective learning and development.
Mentors can also shadow mentees too. Then they can see their work first hand for their own development and offer deeper insight in sessions.
5. Discussion of recent news or events
Have a session dedicated to understanding relevant news and events around your role, industry, or just current events in the world overall. This will allow both of you to widen your knowledge and perspectives on your careers and industry. These types of discussion allow for the sharing of insights and opinions, further stimulating engaging conversations for learning and development.
6. Problem solving session
In addition to learning about current events, it is also a great idea to sit down and go through a case study or problem solving session together.
This is the time for mentees to ask mentors questions on how to tackle problems that may arise around their path to achieving goals, their work, their career or in the industry as a whole. Communicating, discussing solutions and direction of thinking will engage both mentors and mentees more in the session.
7. Podcast or book discussion
Similar to learning about current events or discussing the news, a podcast or book discussion allows both mentors and mentees to consume the same content that deep dives into a topic, and talk about their perspectives and for the mentees to broaden their understanding of the content. Active discussion of an interesting topic keeps both mentors and mentees engaged in sessions.
8. Attend an event together
If one of you has an industry event coming up, bring your mentor or mentee along. Mentees can see how mentors interact with others at events, as well as gain industry knowledge from the event itself, allowing them to build both soft and hard skills. Events are also a great way for networking, so mentors can help introduce mentees, as well as build connections for themselves.
9. Resume review session
A resume review session will allow mentees to walk-through their resume, and allow mentors to provide feedback on areas of improvement and where their mentees resume can be stronger. Taking in feedback and implementing it right away will allow for a more engaging and productive session in facilitating mentee’s career development.
10. Reflective session
It is always good to have check-in sessions for mentors to see if mentees are on track with their goals. Short, or long, these sessions allow for mentees to reflect on their progress and look forward into what they have to do next.
Mentors can also reflect on how well they think they are doing in mentoring, if there is anything else they could provide for their mentees and if anything needs to be changed in their mentoring style. Constructive feedback is always good for engagement and strengthening the relationship.
It is also the time to celebrate successes, and positive energy in sessions boost self-esteem and engagement.
These activities will bring in excitement, energy and engagement, which are key to a continuous and successful mentoring relationship. Now that you have some ideas of interactive activities for your next session, go ahead and schedule a session, discussing which of these activities you can start doing to achieve your, or your mentee’s goals.