MT-Mentoring path:Building autonomy step by step, Education Pillar

Each mentoring path is unique, and this is part of its richness. Therefore, no structured mandatory activities will be suggested for the 9 sessions of mentoring corresponding to the 9 Pillars for Autonomous and Self-Determined Living. Instead we propose to give suggestions for LCP and mentee to consider and to implement, with the flexibility and adaptation that are needed.

For this initial meeting, the suggestion is for the LCP to focus on discussing:

Part A

    • the purpose of the mentoring relationship and its main goals
    • the format of the sessions and how they will be developed (where, when, for how long…)
    • what each one will commit to and specific responsibilities, initiatives and/or tasks to be implemented by LCP and mentee

Part B (this part will be focusing on specific elements of a specific Pillar)

    • Educational and training path

a.      Educational path milestones

b.      achievements and difficulties

c.       goals, wishes, fears and expectations

A. Building trust

a.      Getting to Know Each Other

                 i.     Ensure empathy and positive interaction

                ii.     Be predictable and consistent

              iii.     Ensure confidentiality

              iv.     Anticipate mistrust and suspicion

                v.     Recognize any signs frustration related to refusal to talk, resistance to change, mistrust

              vi.     Be open minded!

b.      Develop a constructive relationship

                 i.     Give time to know each other

1.    Establish Boundaries

a.      Physical

b.      Emotional and psychological

c.       Social

d.      Other (e.g., spiritual)

2.      Be flexible!

3.      Be curious and interested – but not intrusive!

                ii.     Be trustful and honest

1.      Be assertive

2.      Ensure transparency in your perspective and actions

              iii.     Spend time together – have fun!

1.      Plan activities together

2.      Do activities together

3.      Monitor and assess activities together


B. Education

1. “Tell me about a recent story where you felt really well and/or successful while learning something (at school or from friends)”

Justification: Talking with someone about a positive/success story is an opportunity for highlighting strengths, knowledge, skills, and, sometimes, to reveal some weaknesses without feeing down or ashamed. This can be the trigger for a deeper discussion on needs and areas to grow (e.g., “It sounds like you have strong planning skills, but that you need support with time management. Let’s talk about how to work on that…”).

2. Sharing of a “time you failed spectacularly”—and what you have learned from the experience.

Justification: Frustration and failure are part of all human lives. To share to experience and to listen that others also have these kinds of experiences is, first of all, a moment to assume our common humanity. Additionally, from the discussion on what the LCP and the mentee have learned from the experience and how this episode was (or not) important for development and evolution, important ingredients for the mentoring relationship will be disclosed and need to be addressed in the mentoring journey ahead (e.g., when I fail I get so upset I did not talk to other people for several days – frustration management needs to be part of this mentoring).

3. Share a current challenge regarding education/training

Justification: Digging deep into challenges regarding education/training can provide a solid agenda for what the mentee wishes to accomplish in the mentoring relationship. For instance, the LCP can suggest “Let’s make a list of those challenges and prioritize them accordingly to the things you really wish to accomplish”. With this list they can work on the identification of barriers and obstacles and how to overcome them. From this step an action plan can be created, and the achievements monitored (please see Activity Workshop 1, Designing my PEP, personalised educational program).