Mentoring and 1:1s

Personal growth

One of the most important responsibilities of your mentor is the organization of one-on-one (1:1) meetings. Your mentor will arrange recurring one-on-one meetings, with the frequency and duration being an agreement between you and your mentor. If you wish, you can prepare an agenda with your mentor, but it is not required. If you do not have anything specific to discuss, the one-on-one will simply be a friendly chat.

Here are some things that the one-on-one is NOT:

  • It is not necessarily an office meeting. If you want to take a walk, tell this to your mentor. If you want to have a coffee, that's fine. If you want/have to do this from home, that works too.
  • It is not an update on the status of projects you are working on. If there is a particular work issue you wish to discuss, feel free to do so, but your mentor will not ask you to do so.
  • It is not a meeting where you have to talk about work: if something nice (or not so nice) has happened in your life recently and you would like to discuss this at the 1:1, do so: these are the most important conversations and your mentor will be there for you.
  • It is not an obligatory meeting: if one day you simply don't feel like talking, please tell your mentor and move the meeting to another date. 1:1s are recurring for organizational purposes but they focus on people, not schedules.

At the end of the 1:1, your mentor will take some notes on what you discussed and what you both commit to, so that at the following meeting you can review them and see how things have progressed. This document will be shared with you and you are free to make any adjustments or add topics for the next meeting.

The 1:1 is also a time to discuss your personal growth projects and the goals you set for yourself.

Preparing for a 1:1

Here are some of the questions you can ask yourself to prepare for a 1:1 with your mentor:

  • Do you understand what goals/challenges/strategy your mentor wants the team working towards and how you fit in?
  • What is the best way to educate your mentor on what you are working on?
  • Do you need any guidance on solving an issue?
  • Do you need your mentor to escalate an issue or to remove a blocker?
  • Are there any specific areas where you'd like to receive more feedback?