Action Planning – getting the most out of mentoring

Monday, January 15, 2018

Action planning is about setting your objectives (the things you’d like to achieve) and then making them happen!

It’s not a passive thing – but an ACTION plan… You will need to identify:

  • What your objectives are (Be Specific)
  • What actions you commit to making to achieve the objectives (Be realistic – make them achievable)
  • What will indicate that you have completed your actions (Success Measures)
  • When you will complete your actions (Timescales)

Setting Objectives

For the student, mentoring is about personal and career development so objectives could include ones around: understanding future options, including further study and potential career paths; job hunting and making applications; personal development; improving sector and/or career knowledge.

The GROW Model is one tool to help identify suitable objectives:

  • Goal: Focus on future goals and on what the mentee wants to achieve
  • Reality: Identify where the mentee is now
  • Options: Explore options
  • Way Forward: Identify SMART* objectives and design an action plan to achieve them.

(* SMART objectives, objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable and realistic for the mentee in their current position and that have clear timescales attached.)

The GROW Model

Action Plan Template

Goal/ Objective/ Target to be achieved – what must I do?

Current Situation – where am I?

Actions Required – what do I actually need to do?

Success Measures – how will I know I’ve done it?

Target Date / Timescales – when will it be done by?












Next steps

Your completed action plan should now describe, step by step, how you are planning to reach your goals by the deadlines you have set. Deadlines can be set for varying times – daily, short-term, long-term – but setting a realistic timeframe allows you to measure progress.

It is an iterative process – you should review progress and can re-assess you action plan on a regular basis to make sure it remains up-to-date and relevant. Reflection on what has been learned, challenges and emerging opportunities is key to continual development.

The mentoring action plan will help maximize success in your mentoring relationship.