Helping your mentee set goals

The purpose for entering into a mentoring relationship is for personal growth and development of the mentee and mentor. Unlike a social relationship, which is normally not focused on achieving goals, mentoring relationships are focused on achieving goals: the mentee’s specific goals.

So, from the start of the mentoring relationship, the mentor and mentee ought to have a clear idea of what the mentee’s goals are – their career/professional goals, as well as their goals for the relationship. Though it’s appropriate for mentors to expect their mentee to formulate his or her goals and present them to the mentor early on, many people find setting goals challenging and your mentee may turn to you for help with setting goals.

If you’re asked by a potential mentee to help them set goals, you can suggest they consult the mentee's goal-setting section of the web site and come back to you after they’ve worked through the information there. You may find that even after that, however, they may still need your help to further refine their goals.

  • Man typing on laptop
    Helping set SMART goals (PDF)