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Mentor Team-building Activities

Mentoring is a powerful tool for personal and business development. It is also an effective way to help people progress in their careers. Mentoring partnerships are based on trust and mutual respect and are far more personal than coaching and other forms of formal education.

When first beginning a mentor program, it is very important to establish an environment and atmosphere that is conducive to the mentoring process. A great way to do this is with some fun and educational team-building activities.

Below are just a few ideas to help get the ball rolling:

1. Introductions

Objective:
  • Help participants get to know each other
  • Familiarize candidates with the mentoring process
Time:
  • 30 min.
Materials:
  • Pen & paper
  • Name tags
Instructions:
  • Ask participants to gather in groups of 2 or 3.
  • Every participant should write down what they hope to achieve through the mentoring process.
  • Every participant should write down what they hope to achieve through the mentoring process.
  • Mentors should write down what they think they can contribute to the mentor program.
  • Mentees should write down how they hope to use what they learn to improve their careers.
  • Ask everyone to exchange sheets and give each other's ideas a read.

2. Marshmallow challenge

Objective:
  • Encourage creative problem-solving
  • Encourage collaboration, communication and teamwork
Time:
  • 25 min.
Materials:
  • 1 packet of uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 roll of masking tape
  • 2 meters of string
  • 1 marshmallow for every team
Instructions:
  • Using the material provided, each team must build a structure to support the marshmallow.
  • The structure must stand on its' own.
  • The team with the highest standing marshmallow wins!

3. Minefield

Objective:
  • Improve communication
  • Encourage team problem-solving
Time:
  • 45 min.
Materials:
  • An office space
  • Assorted office supplies
Instructions:
  • Teams take turns rearranging furniture in the office.
  • Each team places an assortment of 'mines' and 'objectives' using common office supplies.
  • Each team selects one member to be blindfolded.
  • Using only verbal communication, teams must guide the blindfolded member around the room, avoiding 'mines' towards each 'objective.'
  • The team that collects all objectives in the shortest time wins!

4. Shipwreck

Objective:
  • Improve communication and collaboration
  • Improve negotiation skills
Time:
  • 20-30min.
Materials:\
  • Pen & paper
Instructions:
  • Teams are presented the following scenario: "Your ship has wrecked several kilometres down the coast from the nearest town."
  • The group must pick 12 items from their surroundings that they think would be most useful in their journey back home and rank them in order of importance.
  • Teams then compare their lists and must decide which collection of items was most appropriate.
  • The team that prioritizes the most valuable items by consensus wins!

Related Articles:

What is a mentor?

How to develop a successful mentor program