FAQs for Mentees

Is my mentor mentoring me or my organisation?

The mentor’s role is to mentor you as an individual. The intent is that your mentor helps you think through challenges and problems and find solutions. Your mentor should remain independent and committed to confidentiality.

Is the mentoring program only available to CEOs?

To be eligible to participate in the mentoring program, mentees must be currently working as a CEO for a charity registered with the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission.

How long should a mentoring session last?

Most meetings last about two hours.

How frequently should I meet with my mentor?

We recommend at least five to six meetings a year, with possible telephone and/or email contact in between. If meetings are more frequent, your mentor could become too hands on, or feel imposed upon. Agree at the start of your mentoring relationship a balance that suits both of you, and be prepared to review your decision if there is a radical change of circumstances.

Where is the best place to meet?

It is best to meet where you can both feel relaxed and yet be business-like in your discussions. It could be over a coffee or in your mentor’s office. A neutral, ’private’ space is usually best.

How long should a mentoring relationship last?

Some relationships last for a number of years. However, most mentees and mentors find that the relationship comes to a natural end when it is clear that the agreed-on issues to be addressed have been resolved. It can be useful to set up an expected end date for the relationship. We find the average length of time for a productive mentoring relationship is about two years, however, following a review, some mentoring pairs may set new goals and continue working together beyond this time.

Do I have to really like my mentor?

‘Chemistry’ is important, and the relationship will struggle to be successful if rapport is lacking. Sometimes the two parties can be initially unsure of each other partly because each is unfamiliar with the other’s experience and work environment. The key is that you respect and make the effort to understand each other.

Should my mentor meet my chair or staff?

Kilfinan Australia is a confidential service, so there is no expectation that your mentor should have contact with your chair, board members or any of the staff, unless you believe this would be helpful.

What if I am thinking about leaving the organisation?

The confidentiality rules apply. Your mentor is entrusted with looking after your best interests. Your mentor can help review opportunities and your reasons for considering leaving – helping you test whether this is a good choice. Mentees often present succession planning as one of the issues they wish to explore with a mentor.

Why is the relationship confidential?

The individual is being mentored not the organisation, so decisions about whether you share the fact that you are being mentored can be decided together.

What if I haven’t heard from my mentor for an extended period?

We highly recommend making the next appointment to meet before you close the current meeting. Experience suggests that it is preferable to keep the relationship continuous as this creates maximum benefit. The onus for arranging meetings rests with you but if your mentor fails to respond to your suggestions to meet, then this may indicate that the relationship should be drawn to a close. Kilfinan can assist if this occurs.