The final phase of the mentoring cycle, coming to closure, offers a wonderful opportunity to reflect on learning, raise the bar on future performance and celebrate success.
Mentoring partnerships that complete their learning goals and those that do not, both benefit from a positive closure experience. How mentors and mentees seek to move on is often as important as the lessons they have learned in the relationship. Therefore, it is important to make closure a mutually satisfying and meaningful experience.
Even if circumstances force you to end a relationship prematurely, make sure to:
- Have a highly focused conversation about the specific learning derived from the mentoring experience. Focus on both the process and the content of the learning in your discussion.
- Talk about how you are going to apply and integrate what you have learned as a result of the relationship. How you are going to leverage your learning?
- Reinforce learning and make the transition to a new facet of the relationship by celebrating.
- Redefine the relationship with your mentoring partner. Your interactions may differ once the mentoring relationship ends. Will you continue to meet? If so, how often? Be proactive and talk about these changes before they take place.
- Move on. Once you have redefined your relationship, “let go” of the relationship as it was and embrace it as it will be going forward.
For more information about Coming to Closure, see 7 Tips for Coming to Closure