Set Expectations

Successful mentorship starts with proper planning at the start of the project. As a mentor, set expectations at the beginning of the program. Even if mentors take a call in setting expectations, it’s always advisable to collaborate with mentees while documenting project planning and expectations as mentees need to agree on what is expected from them to do.

Following are some points to consider while setting expectations:

Expect Leaves: Ensure that you have considered planned and occasional leaves, such as holiday times, health issues, etc. Discuss with mentees and finalize how many hours mentees can dedicate per week, and talk about reachable goals as well.

Consider Mentee Inputs: Ensure that you have Mentee inputs before finalizing on the project expectations in terms of weekly hours and deliverables. At times, mentees, especially those who are new to open source development, might agree initially for everything, but might not be able to stick to the agenda afterwards which will impact the learning program. So, it is your responsibility to encourage them, make them comfortable, and ask questions related to planned leaves, if mentees are using any cyber cafe for the internet (depending on mentee’s geographical locations), and some more so that things can be planned better.

Be Prepared for Unusual Happenings: Even if everything is planned mutually, there might be times when mentee can’t show up in the scheduled meetings or fail to submit a deliverable because of some unavoidable environmental or natural problems, for example natural calamities, or sudden health issues, and so on. Keep in mind these situations while setting expectations, but do not express them to mentees. Break Goals: Break the bigger goals into chunks for easy tracking and for making this easier for mentees to achieve mageable goals. This way it also boosts mentees’ confidence when they reach a milestone.

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