Hi, I'm a first time poster here, long time listener.

I've just been added to a mentoring program at work, where I am paired up with a senior member of our organization.

It's a short term program so we need to make the most of it in a short amount of time, meeting about once a month.

Having been a mentor myself, I know that the onus is on the mentee to set the tone, pace, and needs for the meeting, and I just want to start off on the right foot.

Any suggestions for how to approach the first meeting? 

jhack's picture
WAM3's picture

Thanks, I had already heard that and part 2, perhaps I should have mentioned that.

I was more looking to have a dialog on this subject.

jhack's picture

 First meeting:  you introduce yourself.  Bring a resume.  Give your "tell me about yourself" answer.  

It's likely your mentor will respond in kind.  Don't be afraid to ask about his/her background.  It really helps. 

Describe your current situation: what projects you're working on, what challenges you face, what your aspirations are. 

Then talk about a problem you've faced, and ask how the mentor might have handled it or helped you handle it. 

Finally, ask for feedback (it might not be "MT style").  And sincerely thank your mentor for whatever feedback they give you. 

Since each person, background and situation is different, it's hard to say "Do This" except in these vague terms. 

(Side note:  have you read "Crucial Conversations" ?  A really good book that helps ensure you have effective conversations at work.  Reviewed here:

John Hack

WAM3's picture

Thanks John - that's really helpful.

I had been requesting a mentor for a long time, and now that I've finally been assigned one, and being even busier that the usual too busy for the past few months, I guess it caught up to me before I had my needs and conversation planned like I would normally do.

I like your suggestions, and no, I haven't read that book. I remember the recommended books podcast and there being a long list I have yet to get through, but I'm going to look for this book this weekend.

Between now and that meeting I'll come back to this forum with an update. Of course any more suggestions from others are welcome, I'm sure I'm not the only one benefiting  from them.

Thanks again,


WAM3's picture

An update on this - my 1st mentor/mentee meeting was postponed, I have a week to prep for it. I like the suggestions of bring my CV and talking through my background, and to ask for his. That and discussing my current challenges should cover it.

I downloaded "Crucial Conversations" from iTunes and listened to about 3 of the 4 hours of it. I didn't really get anything out of it, it seemed more geared to some of the kinds of things that the "Difficult Conversations" book covers (which is a good book, read it in an internal course).  I'm sure there are other books out there that might be more of what I'm looking for, which is for situations dealing with management more that one level up.

Thanks again for the suggestions and I'll post back after the meeting.

jhack's picture

Good luck!

John Hack