The first meeting in a mentoring relationship is fundamental. It is important that the mentee and mentor are given notice of this meeting well in advance so they are able to prepare mentally for something they may find daunting, especially if this is the first time.
This meeting is an opportunity for the mentor and mentee to get to know one another. A prepared question sheet is often useful to initiate conversation between the mentor and mentee. This will often initiate conversations about values. Arrange the meeting in a safe, confidential and women-only environment with staff or other mentors nearby for support.
“Try to enter the room with no judgements made about the mentor. They are there to help you but will be different from you.”
“It is important to start off this relationship as equal. Let the mentee choose the room you may meet in and talk in. Even if the process is unkown to them, let them take the lead so they know this is about them.”