How to Start, Continue and Finish the Mentoring Conversation (the SCF Model™)
Here are some suggested phrases that you may find helpful when you are starting the conversation in your mentoring meetings, when you want to keep the momentum of the conversation, and ways to finish the conversation. I call these the conversation starters, continuers and finishers, which are framed in 3 phases of the mentoring meeting. Here are some examples of each. You can find more examples in both my mentor scenario and mentee scenario handbooks as well (download the sample of each to get a taster of content and focus of each handbook)
1. At the start of the conversation
- What would you like to talk about today?
- How have things been going since we last met?
- How are you?
- What have you achieved since we last met?
- What shall we focus on today in this meeting?
- What’s going well for you at present?
- How about we have a look at…..
2.Keeping the conversation going
- So, what would happen if….?
- What are your thoughts about this?
- What could your next step be?
- Tell me more about this….
- How important is it for you to…..
- Who else can help you with this?
3.Finishing the conversation
- What are you going to do before our next meeting?
- How do you feel about what we have discussed today?
- What can you do before we next meet?
- What do you want to work on next?
- What questions do you still have?
Conversation Starters for Group Mentoring
Some of you may be involved in facilitating or being part of a mentoring group, which may be known by another term such as a Community of Practice (CoP) or a Professional Learning Community (PLC). Getting a conversation started in the group scenario can sometimes be a bit challenging, especially if no-one in the group wants to speak first.
Having some tools at hand to help start the meeting can be a useful habit to adopt every time the group meets. Here are a few examples of conversation topics which I have collected (and used) from mentoring meetings I have been involved with. There are plenty more ideas in my Mentoring Discussion Cards which you can purchase from my Web Shop……
‘Mentoring is about being able to establish a relationship based on the mentee’s success and growth being important to the mentor’
‘Effective, non-judgemental communication is a critical mentor trait’
‘It’s important not to over-guide the process’
‘There are many benefits to be gained from mentoring. Self-ownership and independence are definitely two of them’
And ask some questions to prompt people’s thinking about each statement, such as:
- What do you think of this statement?
- Do you agree/disagree?
- What do think are the benefits of mentoring?