Four phases of mentorship

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The mentoring relationship, like every relationship, is unique and different from every single one that is formed as mentoring programs consist of people and individuals who are diverse and unique, making each relationship unalike. But they are generalized as a group with four different typical phases in every relationship.

Phase 1: Initiation

  • The first part of the mentoring relationship is initiation. It is considered the essential step where the participants introduce themselves to each other and learn about each other.
  • Here, the mentor and mentee get to know each different strengths, weaknesses, objectives and aims, interests and preferences, and the common ground they share. In this phase, they decide whether the match is suitable or not.
  • The first phase can be a little struggle as mentoring programs are about making the perfect matches. As you are new to one another, there can be uneasiness, and your comfort level may not have the correct balance. But do not worry; move swiftly through each moment to make the most of it.
  • Like any other relationship, it might be confusing and have difficulty approaching each other, but time will soon fill the communication gap as it passes. There might be trust issues too, but you need to give it time and space and do not expect too much too soon.
  • As this stage deals with such delicate issues, you must treat it as a priority and give it immense importance to make the subsequent phases easier for you and your partner.
  • You must avoid any kind of miscommunication if encountered in the initiation phase, or else it will grow more profound.

Phase 2: Negotiation

  • Negotiation is the second phase of the mentoring relationship. In this second step, the mentor and mentee set their main objective for themselves.
  • Every individual investing in the relationship wants something from it. They make small goals and an overall objective they need to establish with the help of each other through the mentoring platforms. Participants share and clarify their priorities, and objectives must be accomplished first to reach their ultimate destination.
  • The second phase also includes the targets and the strategies they will implement to achieve success in their work.
  • This section discusses their accountability and the internal between their meetings. They set the timing and frequency of sessions they both will be going through.
  • Mentors and mentees plan and structure their steps and actions for the goals they targeted in this phase of their relationship.
  • In this phase, the mentor and mentees start discussing the worries and issues on the initial terms. They try to understand each other and approach each other carefully when talking about sensitive topics. They establish boundaries and share responsibilities here.
  • They don’t take up matters with critical solutions and form their relationship at a slow pace.
  • It is the phase where you can terminate the mentoring relationship if not found interested in investing your time and energy.

Phase 3: Growth

  • As we have learned in the earlier step, if the partner does not want to continue the relationship, they can end in the negotiation phase. But once you decide to go forward, here comes the third step, which is growth.
  • Mentoring platforms are for the mentee’s professional growth, the mentor’s growth as a leader, and the organization’s overall growth. Thus, most of the relationship formed is in the growth phase looking for the goals they need to achieve and grow professionally.
  • In this phase, the participants get familiar with each other’s objectives and help one another to get closer to their targets. They are focused and concentrated without any disturbance, as it is one of the main processes of the mentoring program.
  • The mentors provide genuine feedback, suggestions, and remarks on the mentee’s performance.
  • Allow them to express themselves and take accountability for every action and decision.
  • They are learning about the new challenges they encounter and discussing their solution in detail. They also differ on the possible obstacles they might face in the coming days.
  • Mentor and mentee discuss various business scenarios and also share personal thoughts and feelings they are going through to make it more transparent.
  • The growth phase is the most extended in the whole mentoring relationship of the mentor and mentee. It is the most productive one too.
  • The mentor and mentee trust each other and have transparency in their relationship, making it more effortless for discussions on varied subjects.
  • The relationship may have ups and down, but it is what makes it going and growing.

Phase 4: Completion

  • Completion is the final phase of the four stages of a mentoring relationship.
  • The last phase is where the mentor and mentee have completed the entire mentoring program and acquired their objectives with each other’s help, support, guidance, and experience.
  • After this, the relationship ends, and the mentor and mentee bid farewell to each other.
  • Before officially ending the relationship, they tick the boxes of all the objectives they planned in the beginning and during the foundation phase.
  • Both make sure to terminate the relationship on a good note and feel satisfied with everything they have learned and acquired from the mentoring sessions.
  • The mentees feel confident and progressive about themselves.

The mentor and mentee go through these four phases of a mentoring relationship.