How do you close a mentoring program?

Think about the goals you've set for yourself and the progress you've made. Meet with your mentor and compare the notes. Talk directly and candidly with your mentoring partner if you feel like you need to end the relationship. Although it can be awkward, it's better to recognize the lack of chemistry or other problems in the relationship rather than “cheating on the other person”.

What the experts say “A good mentoring relationship is as long as it should be and not anymore,” says Jodi Glickman, author of Great on the Job. If you're no longer learning from your mentor or if chemistry just doesn't exist, “there's no point in prolonging it.” You're doing yourself and your mentor a disservice if you're in a relationship that doesn't meet your needs. Here's how to end things gracefully. Take stock of your needs and goals Ask yourself what value you've gained from your mentor, what guidance and support you think you're not getting, and what you want for the future.

With introspection, you can discover “what's missing in the relationship and if there's an opportunity to reshape it in any way,” Kram says. You may decide that your mentor's skill set doesn't match the direction of your career. Or maybe you want a mentor with whom you have a better relationship or who has more time to offer. You might even be surprised by the exercise.

You might find that you haven't made the most of your mentor's experience, for example. Consider giving your mentor a second chance. Don't assume that your mentor has a crystal ball. If you don't receive the guidance you want, it may be because you haven't expressed your expectations and needs.

You should explain “what you're striving for” and how you think your mentor can help you. Consider reaching out to him to make your needs clear and saying, “These are the challenges I'm facing now and this is the kind of advice I hope to receive. However, the duration of a mentoring relationship should not be decided by arbitrary factors, but should be based on the mentee's professional development goals. For the first few months, Debby and her mentor (we'll call him Jeff) maintained a productive and positive relationship.

That way, both the mentor and the mentee are in agreement when it comes to the duration of the mentoring relationship. Most business mentoring relationships need at least six months to develop a relationship that supports mentee growth. Sometimes, business mentoring relationships can transform into other types of relationships, such as personal friendship. They left the conference on good terms, but their formal mentoring relationship ran out soon after.

When the mentoring relationship ends, it's a good idea to review the current mentoring plan. In those cases, sometimes the mentor or mentee just starts to disappear and become less and less available. The objectives are to analyze the culmination of the relationship, identify the achievements achieved as a couple of mentors and mentees, and examine what both have learned during the process. Chris had sought him out as a mentor, taken him out for coffee, bought him lunch, and learned to study marketing and problem solving strategies.

Without these conversations, a mentor or mentee may be left wondering where they went wrong, or even internalize the other person's behavior. For example, if a mentor stops communicating with a mentee, the mentee may interpret the situation as a sign that they don't deserve the time and attention required of a mentor, when in fact the mentor may be abandoning professional mentoring due to unrelated factors.

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