Relationship Stages

Stages of the Mentoring Relationship

Most mentor programmes acknowledge that there are a number of stages that the mentoring relationship experiences. These, generally, will include:

Stage 1: Getting to know each other!

  • Getting to know each other’s families
  • Building foundations of trust and respect
  • Doing fun things together
  • Setting some specific, realistic, easily achievable and measurable goals
  • Planning meeting times
  • Setting the boundaries of the relationship
  • Sensitively breaking down any barriers that might be evident in the relationship
  • Some important questions for the mentor to be seeking answers to at this stage, might include:
    • Where did my mentee come from?
    • Where does my mentee wish to go?
    • What does my mentee need now?
    • What is my mentee good at?
    • What options are open to my mentee with these skills?
    • How can I help my mentee develop and extend these skills?

Stage 2: Achieving goals!

  • Formation of a closer emotional bond
  • Doing more fun things together (with the mentee perhaps selecting more of these)
  • Setting and achieving some s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g goals
  • Understanding that the relationship might experience high and low points, yet willingly working through such times
  • Seeking ongoing support and encouragement from programme staff, other mentors, other resources
  • Affirming the uniqueness of the relationship
  • Remaining committed to the relationship
  • Encouraging the mentee to develop relationships with other significant adults

Stage 3: Closure!

  • Acknowledgment of the effect of the goal setting process
  • Where possible, helping the mentee plan for the future
  • Doing fun things together
  • Preparing for the formal conclusion of the mentoring contract in a healthy, affirming and respectful way
  • Reviewing and reflecting on the high points and the low points of the relationship
  • Discussing options for staying in touch in the future
  • Celebrating the mentoring journey!