What can you do to better manage your mentoring meeting time?
1. Set an agenda in advance of mentoring meetings. Designating specific blocks of time for each topic you want to cover increases the odds that you will be accountable for how you spend your time.
2. Be flexible. Your meeting may start on time but you may discover that the topic you are discussing needs even more time than you anticipated. Honor that time.
3. Build in time to catch-up but put a limit on the time you allocate to do it. Unless you monitor the time you could find that catch-up can easily become catch-all time.
4. Make time to reflect on the specific topic or question you want to focus on prior to your meeting. It will make your conversation richer and deeper.
5. Keep a log, journal or diary to record agreements, ideas, insights, issues and questions. It will help you prepare for your meetings, chart your progress and stay on track, and remember just what you were thinking at the time.
6. Schedule time to check in with your mentoring partner to see if you both feel that mentoring meetings are satisfactory, goal-focused and productive.
7. Think about where you hold your meetings. Make sure you are in a space and a place where there are no distractions and interruptions are minimal.
8. Stay in conversation. Don’t get caught up in an information exchange. Keep the conversation going and flowing.
9. Express appreciation to your mentoring partner. Be specific and clear about the value you are receiving.
10. Postpone rather than meet just to meet. If assignments haven’t been completed and there is no purpose for the meeting, then postpone the meeting. Going through the motions is a waste of time and doesn’t create value for anybody.