November 15, 2023

🎄Mentoring During the Holidays🎄

🎄Mentoring During the Holidays🎄

With holidays just around the corner, you may be wondering how to fit mentoring into the busiest time of year. Here are 5 ideas to continue gifting mentoring during the holiday season.


1. Focus on Development. Take stock of all you’ve accomplished. And consider development areas still on the mentee’s wish list! What activities can the mentee leverage that would make accomplishing their goal(s) even sweeter? Consider acquiring new education/insight, gaining exposure to others, and experiences or stretch assignments that could be started in the next 6-weeks. You may be surprised at just how much you can accomplish before year-end.

2. Plan a “Plan B”. If meeting at your normal time becomes challenging, get creative by adding a holiday twist to your discussions. Is there time to chat by phone while traveling? Can you squeeze in an early-morning virtual discussion with sugar cookies? Can you stop at your partner’s office with apple cider for a quick pre-holiday visit?

If meeting isn’t an option, commit to sending each other video messages to keep each other informed. Spread some cheer by recording near the Christmas tree, with your family in the background or even in your holiday-inspired pjs.

3. Set Holiday Intentions. Setting intentions is a great way to stay present and accomplish what’s most important to you. For many of us, the holidays represent a time of fun, family, friends and stress all wrapped into one! What transferrable lessons/ideas have you gained from mentoring that you can put into practice this holiday season?

Set an intention to leverage this lesson outside of work. Share this with you mentoring partner and ask them to hold you accountable for putting it into action over the holidays. For example:

  • Commit to being fully present with your family, showing up ready to be nowhere else.
  • Truly listen to those around you. Make a conscious effort to put away your cell phone, shut down email, clear your mind of the monkeys and remain engaged.
  • Choose a skill you’ve learned from mentoring (leadership, holding silence, communication, feedback, encouraging, etc.) to "try on" in your personal life during a holiday gathering.

4. Gift Giving... You may be wondering if it’s ok to give your mentee/mentor a holiday present. Most mentors say that watching their mentee develop and achieve success is the best gift. Most mentees agree that mentors don’t need to give a tangible present in addition to the time, dedication, and guidance they provide. Giving a gift is never a mentoring expectation. That being said, if you’d like to give a gift to express your appreciation, consider something that is pertinent to your relationship and isn’t expensive. This could be as simple as a holiday card, their favorite drink, a holiday treat, a special book, lunch or a small token of your gratitude.

5. Model Work/Life Balance. Do you foresee difficulty with work/life balance come December? Consider deliberately taking the holidays as an opportunity for no-pressure time off. Communicate this intentional decision with your mentor/mentee. Schedule a longer meeting after your return to catch up. At that time, share how you felt when you truly prioritized life over work, any setbacks you encountered and what you discovered about yourself during this time. Being purposeful about balance has the added benefit of role modeling how to set clear work/life boundaries for your partner.


Mentoring isn't going anywhere during the holidays! With a bit of planning, you can make it work for you.