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Ending your mentoring relationship

A good ending can help both you and your mentee put what you’ve learned into action at work – so it’s an important part of the mentoring process. This factsheet will help you think about how to approach the ending of your mentoring relationship.

Talking about the end

At the beginning – Agreeing an end date at the beginning of your mentoring relationship can shape your work together, giving it structure, purpose and a timeframe. The time you work together will depend on what your mentee wants to achieve through the mentoring and can be anything from three months to a year.

When things have changed – If the relationship is petering out, or your mentee’s goals change to become ones you can’t help with, bring up the prospect of ending your work together. Sometimes, you may have an early ending to your relationship because of changes like these. It’s important to try not to take this personally.

Towards the end of the time you agreed – You could remind your mentee that the end is coming up around three quarters of the way through your agreed timeframe. Ask if they’d still like to end then or, if you both agree, you might want to continue. Under the CharityComms umbrella, mentoring can go on for up to one year when we’ll automatically email you both an evaluation form. If you tell us that you’ll finish the mentoring before this, we email this form then.

Before the final meeting

Look over the CharityComms evaluation form – Contact CharityComms to let us know that your final session is coming up and we’ll send you a link to our evaluation form. Reading this before the final session will help you consider the process as a whole and what you might want to discuss.

Think about how your mentee has changed – Tell them what you have noticed. For example, if they’ve become better at problem solving or leading their team, mentioning it can help your mentee consider what it was that caused them to change.

“Being flexible and not taking things personally is useful when you’re approaching the end of your mentoring relationship. I wasn’t frustrated by the early endings I’ve had with two mentees. It was absolutely fine. I was able to support them with what they needed and they no longer needed the support.”

Kellie Stewart

head of communications and public affairs, Brain Research UK

The final session

Revisit your mentee’s goals – Talk about what has been achieved and how they got there.

Talk about the future – Discuss what else your mentee wants to do professionally and how what they may have learnt though the mentoring process might help them do this. It’s a good idea to consider whether you’ll keep in touch and how.

Reflect on your work together – Ask your mentee what they found useful about the mentoring and what could have been different. You can use this information to help with your own career and any future mentoring relationships.

After the final meeting

Contact CharityComms – Send us your completed evaluation form. And, if you want to, get in touch to discuss how you’ve found the process and to request another mentee.

Take your mentee’s feedback on board – If a mentee fills out our evaluation form, we will pass on their feedback to you which can help you think about what you’ve learnt from being a mentor.

“Through being a mentor, I’ve learnt the skills to help somebody come up with the answers themselves and to help them feel empowered to do their job better. The skills I've learnt in that area have been immense. Also, I’ve found I have case studies already in my head when I come to write my CV or talk in my appraisal, as I’ve spent time discussing experiences with my mentee.”

James Barker

associate head of digital , NSPCC

Read more top tips and guidance about being a mentor in our resources section.