May 2, 2024

🪄7 Activities to Spark Your Mentoring Experience

🪄7 Activities to Spark Your Mentoring Experience

If you're in a mentoring relationship and it's going well, congratulations! You’ve likely discussed expectations, set important goals and are tackling challenging development activities. What’s next?


Successful mentoring relationships gain momentum by embracing focus. Dial in your focus around scheduled meeting times; giving feedback; and development activities for mentee’ growth. Mentoring is social-based learning, so it’s smart to also focus on experiences that build bonds. This social focus sparks more fun and learning “stickiness” along the mentoring journey! Here are 7 activities to spark more fun, insight and social learning:


1. Learn Together. A great way to grow as a pair is to explore a leadership/business book or article. Agree to reading a mutually interesting book or article between meetings. Then, carve time to deep dive your thoughts and how you see the content applying to your work. Not sure where to start? Take a look at the Best Leadership Books of the Last Decade. A variation of this activity is to view a Ted Talk on a topic you’re both interested in. Ted’s Playlist of How to be a Great Leader is the perfect place to begin.


2. Walk and Talk. I worked with a mentoring pair who scheduled “walking meetings” every-other time they met. These mentoring sessions were about catching up and getting out of the office together. The pair enjoyed their “walk and talk” because allowed them to have different conversations while getting in extra steps. Do you have a fitness center, walking path or steps near work? If so, incorporating walking during even just one of your mentoring meetings will bring a fresh spin to your conversation. 


3. Volunteer Together. Working a charity event, helping at a soup kitchen or walking a 5K fundraiser are great ways to build connection. Helping others together fosters a unique layer of goodwill within your relationship. Plus, you’ll gain perspective on real-life community issues.


4. Get Personality. Select a personality assessment to complete together. Strengths Finder has been a powerful tool for mentoring partners! Use the code found in the back of Strengths Finder 2.0 or purchase Clifton Strengths access online. Unpack the rich results during a mentoring conversation. Together, discuss how this new awareness impacts your personal and professional effectiveness.


5. Day Trip. Plan a few hours or a day to visit different areas of the business. Explore other company locations or departments, tour vendor sites or pay a visit to an exceptional customer. Day trips are among mentoring participant’s all-time favorite social learning opportunities. Plus, you’ll find your mentoring conversation is more relaxed during the windshield time. If schedules align, consider inviting other mentoring partners to join your trip!


6. Gain Exposure. If appropriate, invite the mentee to attend one of the mentor’s key meetings. This may be a staff meeting, community service meeting, important customer interaction or nonconfidential senior management or board meeting. Mentees prepare in advance by finding out who will be attending and reviewing the agenda. Aim to introduce the mentee to at least two new people. Debrief the meeting later, sharing observations and key take-aways.


7. Laugh Together. Often. Exchange jokes, memes, and funny stories about yourselves. Encourage one another not to take yourselves too seriously. Demonstrate this with occasional self-deprecating humor. Research shows that people who can admit their shortcomings with a smile are more approachable. Bonus ~ being so comfortable and confident that you can laugh at yourself builds trust within a mentoring relationship.


These 7 ideas are just a few to consider! We'd love to hear what fun ways of learning socially you're trying in your mentoring partnership!