The preparing stage in the mentoring relationship may take between one to three individual meetings in order to build a relationship prior to coming to a mutual agreement. A mentoring agreement between mentor and mentee should not just be a paper exercise but an opportunity for mentor and mentee to speak about expectations and aims. The mentoring agreement also helps to formalise the relationship and establish boundaries.
This stage should take place where mentor and mentee can receive support from appropriate staff if needed as the forming of a formal agreement is not something that is common to most people.
Consider including the information below in the mentoring agreement which both mentor and mentee should sign up to. This stage may need support from an appropriate member of staff.
- Establish commitment of time and resources.
- Establish qualities to be a part of relationship.
- Decide form of contact between mentor and mentee.
- Duration and time of meetings.
- Written records of meetings.
“Make sure you agree with everything on the agreement. This isn’t like other support plans you may have had with others services, where you feel like you have to say yes to everything. Make sure you say what you want.”
“Make sure the mentoring agreement sets up boundaries without disempowering women. Ask open ended questions and let them hold the mentoring agreement and do the writing. It has to be in a shared language in order to work."