Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Communication Methods and Expectations

Supportive accountability to reliant on the communication between mentor and mentee. Be sure to set expectations for methods of communications. Create a plan for communication, including:

  • How often communication will occur (i.e., once a day, once a week, etc)?
    • Communication might be more frequent early in the goal process, as more support and troubleshooting may be needed. However, as the mentee becomes more comfortable with their work, only weekly check-ins might be needed.
    • Consider setting expectations surrounding response times. If you are communicating via messaging, how long should pass before expecting a response? 24 hours? Will you be responding on the weekends?
    • Continuously monitor the effectiveness of your communication methods, and adapt as needed.
  • Through what channels will communication occur (i.e., messaging, calls, in person)? See below for the pros and cons of different communication channels.

Be sure that your understanding of the communication plan matches your mentees’ understanding of the plan.

Communication Channels

When offering your mentee coaching and support, you might consider using multiple channels to keep in touch with them


You may be doing most of your communication through messaging. A few important things to keep in mind:

  • Setting clear expectations and boundaries: Make sure your mentee knows when they can expect a prompt response from you and when not. That way, they don’t take it personally or get upset. It’s recommended to work out a procedure for your mentee for who and how they can reach out to in case of a mental health emergency, or any other type of emergency.
  • Using language and emoticons carefully: Keep in mind texts don’t convey tone and other non-verbal cues, so be sure to state your meaning clearly. It’s best to avoid joking around in texts as it can easily be misinterpreted. Instead, you can reflect back the feelings your mentee is expressing, remind them of their options and free will to make their choice, and normalize their experience with the app.
  • Learn your mentee’s style: We all use texts differently, so adjust yourself to your mentee’s communication style. If they write or respond frequently you can utilize texts more, but if they only answer perfunctorily you should not rely on texts for main conversation points.


Calling is another method for communicating with mentees, whether it be a regular phone call or a video call. They can be used for periodic checks in between face-to-face sessions, or to discuss something that is easier to talk through rather than message about.

Face-to-Face Meetings

Depending on how your mentoring program, consider meeting with your mentee in person too. Face-to-face interactions allow for more authentic conversations and support. It also may allow for time to work on goal progress together and even practice skill together. For example, if a mentee’s goal is to improve their study habits, it may be helpful to study together, allowing the mentee a chance to practice their study skills and for you to give immediate feedback.