This blog provides a tool for mentors and mentees to create more structure and check-ins within their relationship if this is something the mentor and mentee want to incorporate.
OneUpOneDown mentor matches are three months long. Mentor and mentees meet at least four times during this period, twice in the first month and one in each of the last two months. Other than this requirement, mentors and mentees have the flexibility to set the schedule as they see fit. We have these details and other useful suggestions for managing your match set out in our Mentor guide and Mentee guide.
We have received feedback that it would be useful for some mentors to have more guidance and structure to support their mentee, so we have developed the Weekly Report Tool to achieve this. This tool is designed to support the one-on-one meetings by (a) providing the mentee with a self-reflection process and creating accountability, and (b) provide the mentor with snapshots of how the mentee is progressing and the challenges that she is facing, which can be discussed during your catch-ups.
We have put this tool to the test ourselves and have found it to be very effective.
The Weekly Report Tool
The ‘Weekly report’ is a very simple self-reflection form with 10 questions that the mentee fills out and sends to the mentor at the end of each week. In order to clarify the process, here is an image of how a 3-month mentorship cycle using the Weekly Report Tool looks like:
We recommend that the mentee fills in the report each Sunday, but it’s entirely up to the mentor and mentee to agree on this. Answering these questions should usually not take the mentee more than 15minues. However, some days this might take a bit longer as self-reflecting is a very interesting process and make you think more about your life.
- What did I accomplish this week?
- What challenges did I have?
- What can I do better next time?
- What lessons did I learn?
- What am I grateful for this week?
- Stress from 0 – 10
- What actions, recommended by my mentor, did I take this week?
- This week I was: an Observer / a Reactor because…
- This week I had: a Fixed / a Growth Mindset because…
- What is my goal for this mentorship cycle?
The mentor and mentee may like to put your spin on these questions, based on the mentor’s expertise & experiences, and the support that the mentee is looking for.
Why is this tool useful
For a good mentorship discussion, both mentor and mentee must have an open mindset and be willing to share experiences. Trust is necessary for the open flow of knowledge and information. But building trust it’s not an easy task for all people. According to recent research, isolation as a result of the pandemic may have made this even harder as “the less contact we have with other people, the more we become suspicious of other people”.
How do we solve this issue? Trust is built from engagement touchpoints where information is shared and responded to. By making it easier to create effective engagement touchpoints, trust can be built faster. In this case, the engagement touchpoints that we are trying to build relates to how the mentee shares relevant information so the mentor can do their best to help the mentee. The questions in the weekly report tool help the mentee to reflect and then share the results of their reflection with their mentor. This information can form the basis of discussions for the meetings.
How to put this tool into practice
First, discuss this tool with your mentor or mentee. If it’s something that you both agree to incorporate into your relationship, you can download the templates for the ‘Weekly Reports” from the app:
Log in to the app > Resources > ‘Weekly reports template | Mentor & Mentee’
We suggest that you set up a shared google drive folder where the mentee can upload their weekly reports, or that they send them to the mentor directly via whichever communication channel works best for both.
If this tool proves to be useful for a high number of mentors and mentees, will build the reporting functionality into the OneUpOneDown web app.