Ideas for a mentoring handbook

A model contract
A contract is required to set out the boundaries within which the mentoring relationship will take place. Mentors and mentees would sign the contract at their first meeting. Look at the example content for a contract below.


We agree that we will work together to ensure that the partnership works for both of us. In order to achieve this we will:

Don't forget to include areas for the mentor's and mentee's signatures and the date.

The handbook may contain guidelines for the mentor/mentee meetings, for example:

The first meeting

Subsequent meetings

Steps in developing rapport

  1. Ask open questions - those which begin with who, what, where, how and why.
  2. Listen actively and reflectively - show by your body language and non-verbal behaviour that you are interested in hearing more.
  3. Pick up and follow themes - show that you are interested in pursuing discussion topics raised by the other person.
  4. Self-disclosure - tell them something about yourself without monopolising the conversation.
  5. Clear, relevant and brief communication - keep the comments brief and to the point.
  6. Modelling - watch the other person's non verbal behaviour and match their style and pace of language, body movements, breathing and tone of voice.

A conclusion for the handbook may be as proposed below.

Tips for mentors

  1. Maintain regular contact
  2. Always be honest
  3. Avoid being judgemental
  4. Recognise that you have your own need for support
  5. Don't expect to have all the answers
  6. Help your mentee access resources and further support
  7. Be clear about expectations and boundaries
  8. Stand back from the issues your mentee raises but work together on them
  9. Respect confidentiality
  10. If the relationship falters - hang on in there!

Alred, G., Garvey, B. & Smith, R. (1998)

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