One of the biggest parts of mentoring? Asking questions! But when should you ask questions? And when the time is right, what should you ask? Here’s a handy list of questions you should be asking your mentee over the course of your mentoring relationship:

For starting the mentoring relationship:

  1. How do we make this process work for you?
  2. What are your expectations?
  3. What would you recommend we do to make this work?
  4. What are you willing to commit to?

For goal setting:

  1. What is the most important thing you want to achieve?
  2. What can I do to help you with your leadership development?
  3. What is your strongest attribute?
  4. Where do you see your challenges?
  5. What would help raise your confidence level?

For pushing and challenging your mentee:

  1. Is this goal worthy of our time and effort together?
  2. What might be a challenging project for you to undertake?
  3. What would it be like to step out of your comfort zone?
  4. How is this goal going to contribute to your development?
  5. Did you think you are putting in sufficient effort to accomplish results?
  6. Why do you think there is only one solution? What else might you try?
  7. If you were grading your results, what grade would you give yourself?

For goal achievement:

  1. Did you get the results you hoped for?
  2. How would you approach this situation?
  3. Where else can you apply that?
  4. What is your team looking for from you?
  5. Is your supervisor seeing a difference?
  6. How else might you tackle that?

For checking in and feedback:

  1. What value has this provided for you thus far?
  2. What can we do differently to improve this relationship?
  3. Are we on the right path?
  4. What feedback have you received?
  5. How do you know you are making an impact?
  6. How can we make this work for both of us?
  7. How do you think you are doing?
  8. Are you satisfied with your results?
  9. Are you putting in the effort you feel you should?
  10. You’re quiet … what are you thinking?
  11. Whose feedback would be a benefit to you?

Ready to get started? Let us know how these questions help improve your mentoring relationships.

(Photo via Flickr CC: Colin_K)