The Mentorship Checklist for Mentors and Mentees

The journey up the mountain of measured professional development is rarely an easy journey. Ahead lie career obstacles that block paths, a standing ground that’s slippery at best, and a road without signposts telling you the next move. With so much to consider, sometimes even the first step toward becoming a self-assured professional can be daunting.

However, when you meet the right guide, the trek suddenly feels a little lighter. A great relationship between mentor and mentee is a two-way street and becomes more of a conversation than a seminar. But, the requirements of a mentor are drastically different than those of a learning mentee. Let’s look at some tips for finding a mentor, inspiring your mentee, and working together.


Checklist for Finding a Mentor

Statistics published in the Centre for Workplace Mentorship 2016 found that employees with mentors were 20 percent more likely to receive a pay raise, got promoted five times faster, and had higher levels of retention. However, unless you’ve got a connection to a mentorship matchmaker, finding the right fit takes time and an ability to see potential in every candidate. Knowing the right questions to ask and how to best interact in this situation will make you more aware and help you select a better match.


__Dedicate time and effort into the search process, think critically about what you want to be like and who best exemplifies that.

__Perform a kind of background check to ensure you know exactly what this person has done in the past.

__Don’t rush into asking for mentorship. Establish a relationship and keep the request less-than-formal.

__If the individual says no, you might ask if they have recommendations for somebody similar to ask.

_Instill a sense of respect by sending a rapid follow-up message.


Checklist for Inspiring Your Mentee

Teachers in our lives provide us with more than lessons and tips; They’re also responsible for getting us excited about learning. This kind of inspiration is an excellent catalyst for personal growth. The same is true for mentors showing their pupils not only how to do it, but why it matters. The process of figuring out how to translate experience is often exciting and revelatory for the mentor.

This checklist can give mentors a good starting line for achieving the abstract goal of inspiration. While it seems like a lofty idea, you have an advantage here. Your student, as it were, has chosen you specifically because they find you compelling, informative, and maybe even a little bit inspiring. The items on this list will help you look within and distill your knowledge into information your mentee can use.


__Maintain focus on your pupil and avoid lengthy personal anecdotes.

__Customize lessons for individual relevance to ensure you’re imparting wisdom they need to hear.

__Try to make yourself available mornings, nights, and weekends, as your mentee might have a more restrictive schedule.

__Make conscious notes of their strengths and weaknesses, and take time to celebrate whenever the strengths grow and the weaknesses improve.

__Make it clear, both formally and informally, that there is nothing owed to you by the mentee, not even success.


Checklist for Your Mentorship Meeting

Once the partnership has been solidified, the progress can start. As with any form of self-improvement, you get out of it what you put into it. This final checklist is the clearest view of how this symbiotic relationship works. In a mentorship, nothing can be accomplished by one side. This is a classic give and take process.


__Set clear expectations for both sides by each writing a short paragraph of what they expect from one another.

__Each year, work together to create one to three goals for the next 12 months.

__During sessions, both parties will listen intently and actively, as well as avoid raising voices or making angry gestures.

__Set appropriate boundaries that protect the privacy of the mentor and the independence of the mentee.


Mentors and mentees could go a long time without ever meeting. However, for one reason or another, the two of you have teamed up for a fulfilling and worthwhile journey toward personal development and professional success. Whether you’re the teacher or the learner, be sure to use these checklists to get the most out of your partnership.


Finding the Leader in You

Have you tried writing four books, traveling the country for presentations, hosting a podcast, and raising a child? Join us today to hear how Chris Molina does it all, and how you can, too.

During his seven years of active duty in the Marine Corps, his four years at Purdue University as a student leader, his six months as a government contractor, and his three years in the corporate world, Chris Molina has developed a passion for leadership. He shares his experiences to help young leaders develop themselves for future success through speaking events, podcasts, and his book. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, two dogs, and cat. 

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Inspiring Servant Leadership in Others

Servant leadership means doing whatever you can to help your colleagues and peers become their very best. Key elements of this philosophy include a commitment to developing others, foresight, and stewardship of resources and trust. Every servant leader will naturally encounter situations where they want to see their peers develop as servant leaders, too. As you prioritize this part of your employees’ growth, consider these steps that can accelerate their journey to leadership.

Nurture Skills and Goals

Listening is high on the list of the most important characteristics of a servant leader. The first step toward inspiring employees to practice servant leadership is to listen to what direction they want to grow. If someone wants to learn more about compliance and documentation, for instance, putting them in a customer service role might not be the best idea. By listening, you will pinpoint the various strengths on the team and learn how to develop the group in a way that moves you beyond bottlenecks or other challenges. As each person feels fully utilized and empowered, they will be inspired to lead in the workplace because that effort advances their goals.

Create a Culture of Trust

For servant leadership to truly take root and thrive in an organization, there must be a culture of trust. Employees must be able to rely on the leader to provide what is needed on the path to success. The leader must continue to believe in the employees even when one specific project or situation might seem like a step back. One study published in Harvard Business Review found that employees in a high-trust workplace reported 74 percent less stress, 40 percent less burnout, and 13 percent fewer sick days. Servant leadership and the trust that develops from the approach have major benefits to a business.

Encourage Foresight and Shared Perspective

Another beginner step in developing as a servant leader is to adopt long-term thinking and start researching what is next for the organization. When evolving an employee as a servant leader, allow them to suggest contacts or new strategies that might improve life for their peers down the road. This is especially true when it comes to networking, which is a vital skill for any leader. Not only does it help form connections that can solve problems and drive growth, but also networking builds a professional’s reputation in their own industry.

These tips, that can help inspire servant leadership in your employees, are really just advice for practicing servant leadership yourself. By listening to employees and pivoting to meet their goals, you deepen loyalty and build trust. As that trust is expressed through the culture, it is safe to try new things. In that environment, leaders will step up to help and serve each other, naturally following the example of those around them. For help achieving the dream, call on Alpha Kappa Psi for insight and support.

Don’t Hesitate

Today’s chat follows the story of another entrepreneur who decided to leave the corporate world to pursue a dream in race and event management. Todd Oliver talks to us about handling conflict, improving customer service for his runners, and rallying support in the community to get a company off the ground.

Todd Oliver graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1989. Much of his career has been involved in sports marketing with stints in auto racing in various marketing roles, with a final stop at the American College of Sports Medicine as the vice president of corporate partnerships through 2014. In 2009, Oliver started his second running event company, Carmel Road Racing Group, with shared ownership specifically for the Carmel Marathon. Today, the company owns six events in the Indianapolis area and stages four under contract with two hosted out-of-state.

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Resources to Become a Better Servant Leader

One of the most fun and challenging aspects of servant leadership is the continuous growth that happens along the way. Simply because we’re only human, every leader has some characteristics that come naturally, while other competencies develop over time. As you strive to become a better, more well-rounded servant leader, here are some resources to help develop soft skills and other professional qualities.

Become a Better Listener

Listening is one of the most essential skills for a servant leader, especially active listening. In this practice, the person listening repeats back what they have heard in the form of a question to confirm understanding before they share their thoughts. Active listeners also pay attention to emotions and nonverbal communication. To become a better active listener, try out these resources:

Develop Awareness

Awareness is the ability to look at yourself and your behavior in the context of the others around you. As a leader, this means considering elements like how you give and receive feedback, how you manage your emotions while communicating, and how your values appear in the workplace. Becoming a self-aware leader is a constant process. Here are some resources to help you get started:

Learn Persuasion

People might think persuasion is negative, but in the hands of the right servant leader, it is a valuable skill. The aim of a servant leader is to build a consensus and comraderie among team members, rather than dictate tasks through authority. When you persuade members of the team, this means you’ve earned their trust and support. Learn more with these resources:

Listening, awareness, and persuasion are three of the most important skills for a servant leader, and they are also the kind of skills everyone can always improve. Whether these resources expose you to new concepts or help you deepen an understanding, we wish you happy learning and happy leading.