It is important to constantly assess your mentoring relationship to insure that it is meeting the needs of both the Mentor and Mentee. There may come a time when the relationship is no longer productive for the Mentor, the Mentee or both. This is the instance where the no-fault clause of the Mentoring Agreement becomes important. While ending a relationship is never easy, Ensher and Murphy (2005) recommend the following to facilitate a smooth ending.
- Start with a positive. Recognize what each has gained from the relationship and be appreciative. At best, a formal conversation about what worked well and what could be improved is another opportunity for learning between the Mentor and Mentee. Some mentoring relationships end simply by lessening the contact between Mentor and Mentee.
- Be direct and tactful. Be as truthful, but diplomatic, as possible in talking about why the relationship is ending. Rehearse what you plan to say, get feedback from a trusted advisor and be ready to give specific examples.
- Choose your time and place carefully. Find a neutral setting and allot enough time for the meeting. Communicate respect and caring, but assert your need to move on.
- Tie up loose ends. Do not leave annoying details hanging. If possible, provide alternatives or referrals.
- Keep it confidential.