The identifying needs stage should be reached when the mentee and mentor feel naturally that they are in a place to give constructive feedback and pull the ‘needs’ from the mentee’s stories. Identifying needs should be done face-to-face in order to facilitate the mentee having control and voice over her own needs.
The mentor and mentee should consider all needs and identify verbally where and how these needs could be met. There are many cases where needs may be identified which both mentor and mentee have difficulty labelling or seeking a plan for. A holistic approach demands that we acknowledge all needs. It is not worth ignoring a need if you don’t have an answer for it or a need that a woman doesn’t wish to address.
If there is difficulty identifying need or how needs are related, a discussion through the nine identified pathways is worthwhile. Taking it a step further, a web diagram demonstrating relation of needs is effective to encourage a holistic approach.
“Make sure that you are speaking of your own needs and not the needs of others that you have taken on.”
“Ask the mentee how gender impacts their needs or how they identify with their need. For example, how does being a woman impact your alcohol use? How does being a woman impact not having your children in your care?"