These are suggestions designed to provide a template to help participants establish productive, mutually-beneficial mentoring partnerships. They are based on research of successful mentorship programs in various settings across the country. However, they are not mandatory. Mentors and mentees should work together to craft a partnership that is geared towards their unique goals, skills, preferences, schedules, and geographic locations. Flexibility is a central component of this program.
- Pairs should schedule hour-long discussions 1-2 times per month.
- Pairs should attempt to meet in-person at least once during the mentorship, and more often if possible. (The 2017 Pennsylvania Land Conservation Conference would be an ideal setting for pairs from different parts of the state to meet in-person.)
- When pairs cannot meet in person, discussion via phone call or video chat is ideal.
- After being matched, the mentee should contact the mentor to schedule the first discussion.
- Approach the mentorship with an open mind and willingness to invest in yourself and your partner.
- Before the first discussion, exchange contact information and other helpful resources such as resumes.
- Attend training session (if offered) and come to the mentorship prepared, knowing what you would like to give and receive in the partnership.
- Use the first discussion to review and complete the Mentorship Agreement. Get to know one other, decide on communication logistics, and develop a set of goals for the mentorship. Determine how progress towards these goals will be measured.
- Respect your partner’s time: keep scheduled commitments, return phone calls and emails, and be thorough but succinct during discussions.
- In the case of conflict or disagreement, address the issue directly with your partner. If the issue cannot be resolved internally, contact the Program Coordinator to seek a different partner.
- At the end of the first year, evaluate the partnership. If it is productive, healthy, and enjoyable, consider continuing the mentorship.