Establish Ground Rules: A Check List

To ensure that the mentoring relationship works most effectively, there are several important considerations to work through at the start of the mentoring relationship. These issues refer to the process, the procedural, professional and psychological issues. This checklist is a useful tool for you to use to ensure that all points are covered.

Mentoring Agreement

  1. What outcomes are you aiming for? What milestones might you set?
  2. What are your responsibilities, and what are those of your mentee?
  3. What confidentiality limits are you setting?
  4. What involvement or expectation (if any) do any third parties have of the mentoring relationship?

Procedural Issues

  1. How often will you meet? (For example, if it suits the mentee this could be once a month with phone contact in between, once you have established a working relationship.)
  2. What about phone or e-mail meetings/correspondence?
  3. How long are the sessions likely to be?
  4. Will you go to your mentee, or vice versa?
  5. Who will arrange room bookings?
  6. What documents will be needed?
  7. Who will complete the documentation?
  8. Will there be limits to the scope of mentoring?
  9. Are there areas of development that you do not feel equipped to address and for which your mentee may need to look elsewhere for help?
  10. Do you intend to keep records? If so, what will you record? Do you have your mentee’s agreement? Where will you store the information?
  11. What other support or resources are available to the mentee?

Psychological Issues

  1. How will you and your mentee check that everything is going well in the relationship on an ongoing basis?
  2. Who will initiate reviews and how often?
  3. Are there any hidden agendas?
  4. What is your definition of honesty? Particularly in relation to feedback?
  5. What will you both do if things are not going well?
  6. How will you both end the relationship if either of you think it is not working?
  7. How will the relationship be brought to a satisfactory conclusion?