One of the best ways to keep a mentoring relationship fresh is to take advantage of multiple learning opportunities. Once you and your mentoring partner get to know each other you will have a much clearer understanding about your mentee’s situation and learning needs. Perhaps your mentee could benefit by exposure to additional knowledge, skills and experience. By reaching out to colleagues and professional networks you may be able to find out what kinds of learning opportunities they might have had or have available to your mentee.
Brainstorm a list of learning opportunities together with your mentee. As you do thinking about learning style, context, goals and timing.
Consider learning opportunities within the organization and external to the organization.
Look at your list and discuss the answers to the following:
- Which ones will help the mentee gain exposure to new learning?
- Which will reinforce learning?
- Which will accelerate learning?
Try to flesh out your list so that it is robust. Think outside the box to generate ideas and don’t be surprised if your mentee comes up with ideas you’ve never considered.