A few months into a mentoring relationship it is common to find that the high energy with which we started our journey, may fizzle out a little, take a dip or even suddenly halt. Life or work takes over, other ‘very important appointments’ just keep getting in the way, or it may be that there is a life-altering event – a birth or death, for instance – which means that things go on hold.
Many internal mentoring or internal coaching pairs describe this happening at some point and it can feel difficult to know how to get back on track.
Remember Lennon’s words that; life is what happens to us when we’re busy making other plans. Consider this as part of the learning journey and move forward. Here are a few things you can do to help get back to your internal mentoring journey and enjoy those thinking conversations once again…
- Arrange a short call to agree and commit to a realistic date for you both. Speaking rather than emailing helps us reconnect and agreeing in real time (rather than the virtual world) can help our commitment levels.
- Revisit your contract or ground rules. Refresh yourselves of the discussions you held in your first meeting. What did you agree to and if these no longer work for you, how can you adapt them?
- Revisit expectations. It may be that you need to explore these in more detail. How honest have you been with each other about your expectations of the process and of each other? Is one of you expecting answers or actions from the other that they are not aware of or have not agreed to? See if you can have an open conversation about these together.
- Reflect on the fizzle. Get curious and be honest about why the energy dropped away. What were the reasons, what can you learn from them and how can you work together to navigate these bumps or road blocks in the future?
- Meet somewhere new. Where have you been meeting… always the same place or have you mixed it up? Have you both visited each other’s place of work and if not might this be of value? Where else inspires you – a gallery, public space, restaurant, members club?
- Check in a week before. Drop each other a note to confirm the date and possibly share some thoughts about what might be worth discussing. Mentees – how would you like to use this session, what would you like to focus on?
- Remember to enjoy it! Mentoring conversations should be stimulating, thought provoking and inspiring – they should also be fun and enjoyable.
We would love to hear what tips you have for keeping your internal mentoring relationship engaging and stimulating. Please let us know.
By Emily Cosgrove