Industry Insights with Experts

The Second Stage of Mentoring - Negotiation

Pallavi Kumari

10th Oct'22
The Second Stage of Mentoring - Negotiation | OpenGrowth

Negotiation is a technique used to resolve conflicts. It is a method for coming to a compromise or agreement without dispute or controversy.

When there is a conflict, people naturally want to advance their stance as much as possible.  Fairness, pursuing mutual advantage, and preserving a relationship are the cornerstones of a good outcome. But how is this an effective tool in mentorship, we are going to see that.

Yes, you are right, today we are going to discuss the second stage of mentoring which is negotiation. Let’s understand the negotiation framework - 


1. Preparing for the negotiation

Pre-negotiation work typically accounts for more than 80% of the negotiation's outcome, and thorough planning helps you get the result you want. Even though it is frequently thought of as less fun, preparation is essential for success. As a mentor, you got to be prepared for the upcoming conversations you are about to have with your mentee. You are past the first stage of mentoring and now is the time to understand the purpose.
For 3 months I have been onboarding schools for a volunteering program. The whole process starts with keeping the relevant documents, a set of clear objectives, the impact that the program will create on the kids, and the on-ground activities in short detail. If I had missed that preparation part I would never have got the opportunity to pitch the program idea and discuss it further.


2. The discussion phase

Understanding what the opposing side is seeking during the conversation phase of the negotiation is essential. You need to make sure that you are hearing what the other side is saying, asking questions, and getting clarification. Suppose your mentee is exclusively asking for guidance on a particular skill and you are keen on using the general template of your mentorship. What do you think will happen? You both will fall out of that phase. That is why discussion on even minute requirements is essential. 


3. Track your progress and follow-ups




Keep a track of your progress. Look, after you, both have understood the requirements and started working together you must pay attention to the growth as well. You need to pause if even one of you cannot observe any change or improvement. Often this happens when you are not documenting the whole process. If that is the case then without further delay you can start your documentation process by asking these questions -

  • How you are executing the particular task?

  • What resources are available and what you are utilizing?

  • What is the outcome that you are looking for?

It will eventually increase your chances of completing the work successfully with a huge impact.


Recommended: What Are the Four Main Stages of Mentoring?


4. Establishing ground rules

Both the mentor and the mentee need to be aware of how the relationship is to be handled and what is expected of them if a successful rapport is to be developed. This is the opportunity to decide on the boundaries for your mentoring relationship and to talk about the spectrum of your conversations. There are numerous points to be considered but here are the 4 important points that you should keep in mind - 

  • It’s a professional relationship. Whatever happens, never get personally involved.
  • Understand that you both have a personal life
  • Your mentor is not an expert in everything
  • Be clear with confidential details. If there’s any conflict, resolve it as soon as possible



5. Adapt and be flexible toward your plan

I would like to discuss on this point with an example - Suppose you need to travel to a far away distance in your city for volunteering. That place is unknown to you. You are thinking of taking a cab but that is not in your budget so you decided to coordinate with your other volunteer friends. you all decided to meet at a point, you all reached there, took public transport, and reached your destination. Voila! 

Well, things are not as easy as it was in this hypothetical situation. But you got the gist. Right?
Whatever agendas and tasks you have created a strategy on there will be times when you both need to be flexible according to the situation. So practice these things in your real life so that your mind can adapt swiftly.


6. Evaluate your progress and the milestones you achieved




All mentoring programs must meet a single, crucial requirement: the ability to assess their performance. You must understand that there is a huge difference between tracking and evaluating. In the primary matter you are just documenting but in the latter part you are observing and analyzing the impact and the milestones you achieved during your mentorship program.  

These success indicators should be chosen and monitored from the beginning of the program. As a program manager, you require a process for measuring and evaluating your programs. Here’s the method - 

  • This should be in the program structure from the beginning
  • Should be completely based on the goals of the program
  • Should include useful information about mentor-mentee relationships

You began with the fundamental stage, which is preparation, and eventually attained your goal. This is the proper way to conduct a negotiation. If you are already following this process then you are a better negotiator everywhere but if you have just started, then I will recommend integrating the process with your work slowly and letting it work for you. Of course you need to observe which pointers you align with or you can modify it according to your requirements.



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Pallavi is fond of exploring different industries in writing genres and trends on Instagram.

When she is not writing, she is thinking about sustainability and making her surrounding a better place.