The focus of a mentoring relationship is to achieve an outcome. Progress updates are essential for seeing how the mentor relationship is tracking against those outcomes. To do this it is necessary for you, the mentee, to engage in the 3-fold process for progress updates: celebrate, act and reflect. This process is on-going and cyclical and ideally should be done weekly, but it is enough to do it at least monthly.
Celebrating achievements is critical to success. Therefore it is very important to recognise small wins and to acknowledge positive progress. It is the sum of these little successes that add up to the overall achievement of a goal. By celebrating and recognising achievements, you gain motivation, become more focused and performance increases.
Once you have recognized the small wins, the next question is what are you going to do next? To act is to think on what has worked and what has not worked and to develop the next steps in your action plan. By writing down those actions you solidify what your next steps are; it focuses your effort by bringing those actions to the forefront of your mind making sure you don’t lose sight of your goals; and it provides insight for your mentor so that you are always on the same page.
Reflection is a thinking, analysing and evaluating process. This last step involves looking internally and recognising how you think and respond to experiences, events and new knowledge. You are looking for honesty from yourself to reflect on what will stop me from achieving the things that I have identified as important to me. The insights gained from this reflection can then be used to determine what are the hurdles or stumbling blocks that you need to overcome to act and then celebrate.
These practices are necessary for growth and progress. They are crucial to gain insights into the effectiveness of the mentoring relationship and to move the relationship forward towards reaching the desired outcomes.