In order to maximize mentoring which is a two-way relationship, it is valuable to begin the first session by agreeing the outcomes and goals of the mentoring relationship.
Although goals and outcomes are welcome to change over time, both parties must be clear about what the mentee wants.
Q. What is the difference between an outcome and a goal?
A. An outcome is the end result. The goal is the milestone.
For example, say the mentee wants to buy a business. The mentee’s outcome would be to buy a business, and the mentee’s goal would be saving or arranging money for the down payment.
When working with a mentee is it important to explore what the mentee’s outcome is (what they truly want) as well as what steps, milestones or goals they need to achieve in order to fulfill their outcome.
It is highly recommended that when setting goals, all goals are made SMART.
SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Accountable, Realistic, and Timely. For every goal ask the following questions:
Is the goal Specific? If the goal is “I want to save money”, ask for specifics. How much money does your mentee want to save? e.g.: £30,000.
Is the goal Measurable? Will you or the mentee be able to measure or gauge whether or not the goal was achieved by the date set?
Is the goal Accountable? Will your mentee tell someone else about their goal, and ask that person to hold them accountable? Make sure to agree with your mentee “Who will you be accountable to?” And: “How will you keep me up to date on your progress?”
Is the goal Realistic? The mentee can attain almost anything they put their mind to and yet it is important to ask whether the mentee has the skills, knowledge, and resources required to achieve the goal? If not, a different goal may need to be set first to help them accomplish the end goal.
Is the goal Timely / Does the goal have a due date? You will want to ask your mentee when they plan to save £30,000. by? And, more specifically, how much they commit to saving each month in order to reach this target?
If all goes well you will end up with a goal similar to the following example:
Specific and Timely: Save £30,000 by March 2014
More Specific and Timely: Save £1,000 each month from this month till March 2014. Will do this by putting £1,000 into my savings account on the first of every month
Accountable: Email my mentor on the first of every month to inform them I have put aside the money. Meet mentor in person to celebrate in March 2014 when the £30,000 mark is reached
Realistic: Yes, I am capable of reaching this target!
Remember, for all goals to be successful they need to be SMART.