•  The Mentoring Program is a 6 month long program. It is an understanding by both parties that the mentor and mentee will commit to the 6 month mentoring relationship.  Once the 6 months are fulfilled, discussion of continuing the mentoring relationship should take place between the mentor and mentee.

Meeting Logistics

•  As a member of the Mentoring Program, you have committed to meet with your mentor or mentee on a monthly basis, at least once per month, ideally two or more. You and your partner will decide where and when you will meet.

•  Discuss whether or not you want to increase the number of mentoring meetings and work towards a mutual understanding that satisfies both of your needs.

•  Specify the length of each meeting prior to meeting and stick to it.

•  Meetings can be in person or virtual or over the phone.

•  Be prepared when you meet.  Have all necessary items with you, such as a notebook, pen, articles, agenda items you want to discuss with you mentor or mentee.


•  Decide when, how and the frequency each of you can be reached.  Don’t assume that the other party can be reached at all times.

•  Be open and transparent when communicating.

•  If a conflict occurs, try to solve it immediately.

•  Practice active listening.

•  Ask thoughtful, thought-provoking questions.

•  Provide objective feedback and guidance.


•  Explore the roles you each envision to have.   Should the Mentor act as a coach, sounding board, or more of a teacher?  Many mentors help mentees find information or guide them to find other help they may need.

•  Take time to identify goals, what each of you wants to gain from the experience.

•  As a mentor, don’t assume that all advice will be followed. Some of it may be incorrect or not an area of interest of the mentee, and that’s okay. Try to understand how the mentee wants you to help, and work towards getting there.

•  Each party takes the lead.  Don’t assume the mentor or the mentee will suggest all activities and do all the leading.


•  Talk about confidentiality, including what is and what is not acceptable to share with others.  The best mentoring relationships maintain confidentiality between the mentor and mentee. Ideas, feelings and plans stay between the two of you.

•  Make sure that each of you doesn't reveal or discuss company propriety or confidential information without approval from the owning organization.


•  Come to an agreement on how you’d like to give and receive positive and corrective feedback from each other.  Always ask if you can make a suggestion or offer constructive criticism.  Don’t automatically give advice or criticism.

•  In a good mentor / mentee relationship, both parties give and receive reinforcement.

•  As a mentee make it easy for your mentor to give you corrective feedback.  Ask for it early in the relationship.  Show evidence that you are utilizing the help within your life.  Don’t forget to share the outcome of the help your mentor gave. 

Limits or Preferences

•  Discuss your learning and communication styles so that you can work well together and minimize misunderstandings and miscommunications.  You will each benefit at a higher level when you are on the same page.

•  As a mentee, verbalize your learning style and what types of things are helpful for you. 

•  As a mentor, verbalize your teaching/coaching style and what has worked well in the past for you.

•  Be open to combining each other’s styles and processes.


•  Keep the mentoring relationship on a professional level.  It can be easy as the relationship grows to cross the line into personal matters.  Stick to the goals you decided together. 

•  Listen to what each other has to say.  Be open to each other’s ideas, discussion topics, etc. 

•  As a mentor, help the mentee take initiative in the relationship. 

•  As a mentee, consider all advice given.  Store what might seem as irrelevant for some future use, or not.

•  Make only positive, constructive or neutral comments about each other.

•  If you disagree with each other’s behaviors or values, share your perceptions with each other.

•  Don’t end the relationship on bad terms.  Seek assistance before it gets to that point. Contact the mentoring team if you feel the relationship needs external help. The mentoring team can swap teams if agreement cannot be reached between the two parties.

•  Don’t flake on mentoring meetings or events. This is an important step in your professional career and an area of growth, take advantage of it.

Scope of Knowledge

•  As a mentor, provide advice and guidance only within your area of expertise.  Refer your mentee to someone else when asked about information beyond your knowledge.

•  As a mentee, keep in mind your mentor’s scope of expertise and stick to questions and discussion within that area.  If you want information that is beyond the scope of your mentor’s expertise, ask for a referral or seek information on your own from another source.

Conflict of Interest

•  Declare any conflict of interest before it becomes an issue.

Irreconcilable Differences

•  There are instances when the mentor / mentee match is not the best and the relationship is not working for multiple reasons.  This is of no fault to either party.  If you feel that the relationship is doomed to failure, contact the PMI-OC Mentoring Program team to be matched with another mentor or mentee.  Examples of this could be:

o   Expectations or personalities don’t align and there appears to be no resolution

o   Disagreement with behavior or values that cannot be resolved

o   Conflict of interest that cannot be resolved

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