7 Fun Mentoring Activities You Need to Try During Your Next Meeting

Make your mentoring sessions engaging and fun with these 7 ideas for your upcoming mentoring meetings.

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Mentoring is more than an informal conversation every time you meet, it's about creating a trustful connection that blossoms over time. That's why having a distinguished relationship with your mentee is a must if you want them to truly succeed.

Mentoring is beneficial for mentors and mentees, with both learning and developing together on a journey. At the beginning of a relationship, including mentoring, we frequently struggle with what to say and how to spend our time together. This is particularly relatable to learning and development relationships, where it's vital to keep an engaging environment going.

We know that keeping things entertaining can sometimes be demanding, especially coming up with new ideas. That's why we wanted to share our 7 mentor-mentee activities that will keep your relationships evolving and support professional and personal development for both parties.

1. Go for a walk or visit a (quiet!) coffee shop
We all know that the difference between a great mentoring relationship and a bad one is the ability to create trust and a foundation with a mentee. Although it sounds very cliché, meeting with your mentee for a walk in the park or a quiet coffee or tea is a great way to build a relationship. We wouldn't recommend doing this on your first meeting. The introductory meeting should be entirely focused, quiet and confidential but once you've begun to develop the mentoring relationship, this is a fun way to mix it up. During this meeting, you'll be able to get to know each other, set the foundation for the relationship ahead and work together to plan some goals. Meeting in a less formal environment reduces any stress or worries that either individual may be feeling. Although this isn't always possible for those mentoring remotely, there are some great zoom backgrounds to help lighten the tension and play pretend, even just for an hour.

2. Read a book
It's no secret that reading is paramount for growth. Whether you're learning a new skill or just looking to read the latest fiction novel, there's something out there for everyone. Over the years, reading has become incredibly accessible, with the introduction of e-books and next-day delivery with Amazon Prime, which means there's no reason why someone can't spend a few hours a month indulging in a good read. We recommend that mentors and mentees read a book together, which will help keep the dialogue flowing and is an ideal learning exercise. Whatever the mentee is looking to achieve, you'll have no issue finding a book that meets the criteria. During meetings, the book can be discussed, relating it to how it can help a mentee within their career, the mentor should also send other materials and resources to the mentee that are similar topics to the book.

3. Create a plan
It's important to create a mentoring plan at the beginning of any mentoring relationship. A mentoring plan is typically an agreement between both parties that outlines their expectations, goals, and intentions. This helps both parties, as having a plan in place ensures that their expectations align, but also allows the mentor to see if they are the best fit for the role. When planning, it's important to outline how often you'll meet, the purpose of the mentoring sessions, where the meetings will take place and the timeline of the mentoring relationship.

4. Mutual job shadowing
Job shadowing is a popular method used by individuals across the globe. Why? Because it works. Mentoring relationships are typically focused on career mentoring, so job shadowing is a great activity to undertake with a mentee. Job shadowing involves having a mentee shadow their mentor for some time, gaining deeper insight into their career and also gaining a fresh perspective. This is particularly beneficial for people looking for a career change or junior employees, as these individuals are looking to gain understanding into the skills needed and the typical work involved in the role. Remember, a mentor needs to set time during and after the day to answer any questions the mentee may have.

Job shadowing isn't just an in-person exercise and can be accomplished remotely. With the improvements in technology, individuals can now connect using screen-sharing technologies. Adding a mentee into calls as an observer or sharing your screen to show some of the tasks you complete throughout the day, is just some of the ways job shadowing can take place online.

5. Discuss related news and events
1000's of news articles and resources are released daily, it's more than likely that some of this information would be valuable and relatable to a mentee. Each week a mentor and mentee monitor the news and look for topics that are related to the purpose of the mentoring relationship, this can be used as a topic of discussion throughout meetings and a way to springboard ideas with one another. Mentors can even assign this as a task for the mentee, requesting them to share one article each mentoring meeting that relates to their goals.

6. Find a podcast
Likewise, to reading the same book, a fun and interesting activity to do with a mentee is finding an appropriate podcast. Podcasts are full of wisdom and fresh stances, they supply excellent advice that is perfect for development. Before each session, both parties should listen to an episode of the podcast and discuss the findings with each other. This is an ideal activity because it means both the mentee and mentor can gain practical knowledge that can be applied to their careers.

7. Host networking meetings
One of the biggest benefits of mentoring for mentees is the opportunity to connect with other professionals within their industry. Helping and supporting a mentee build their network is one of the most worthwhile things a mentor can contribute, connecting them with further individuals that can assist their development. Hosting a networking event where the mentee can be introduced to a range of professionals, is invaluable to a mentee, providing them with the opportunity to find a future mentor, boost their confidence and allow them to gain new insight and knowledge to assist them within their career.

Final thoughts

Mentoring doesn't need to just be meeting after meeting, there are fun activities people can and should be doing to help build a fulfilling, trusting and engaging relationship. Whether you're a mentor or mentee, the next time you schedule a mentoring meeting, think about some of the ideas we've listed and consider new and exciting ways to create stronger mentoring relationships. If you want to find a mentee, mentor or learn more about mentoring, sign up for free at PushFar - the world's leading mentoring and career progression platform.
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