Problem Solving Strategies

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What happens if you have problems with your mentoring match?

The Acorn Mentoring Program is here to support emerging leaders and professionals in the aged care sector, supporting them in building confidence and skills in their management and leadership capacity.

You have volunteered to be a mentor based on this. 

Sometimes a mentee won’t reply to emails, they have picked a goal/challenge that is out of scope, or they are just not ‘gel-ing’ with you. Our matching process involves aligning your mentee's goals, and level of management and leadership experience with your identified areas of expertise and interests. 

Mis-communication and challenges arise in any relationship. Assigned mentor matching is not immune.

Unfortunately, we don’t always get it right.

If you feel uncomfortable with your mentoring match at any time, we suggest one of two things

  • Discuss the problem with your mentee
  • Reach out for support

If something doesn’t feel right, chances are your mentee will feel the same way.  Talk about it and create an environment where you can re-frame your partnership and the program goal in a positive way.

  • Set your boundaries and keep them. If you have any concerns, let us know.
  • If something is out of your expertise that's ok! Mentoring can provide a place for you to build your learnings too. Utilise your skills in asking open ended questions and active listening to guide the mentoring process and your knowledge.
  • Empower your mentee to think long term and how the skills they develop now, can help support them in approaching future challenges and projects.

It may be the scope or direction of your mentoring discussions are not aligned with this program, or you’re not sure the mentee is a fit. You are within your rights (as outlined in the T&Cs) to end this relationship at any time. No fault to you or your mentee.

Below are some common issues (and strategies to help you overcome these)


Mal-aligned goals or expectations

  • Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years time?
  • How does this goal help you get there?
  • What is your driver for wanting to meet this goal?
  • I see this is an important goal for you, I can help ask you questions and help you gain a bit of clarity, but it’s not my area of expertise. Did you want me to contact the program organiser to help you find a match that will help you achieve this? OR is there something in [insert topic/s] that I can assist you with over the next few months?

Accountability and boundaries are not being adhered to

  • Review on the Acorn Mentoring Agreement that you both signed/discussed in the first meeting.
  • Reflect on what is happening and how is it making you feel? What do you want to change?
  • Discuss the Acorn Mentoring Agreement with your mentee. Does the agreement need to be re-visited or re-affirmed?
  • If language or response to a task is an issue (e.g. time taken to complete), discuss how this impacts on you as a mentor and brain storm with your mentee possible ways to resolve it.

Not sure the participant is a fit for this program? 

  • I’m curious, what made you apply and want to be involved in this program? What’s your driver for wanting this?
  • What’s your intention? What do you hope to gain by the end of the five-month program?
  • This program is for young professionals and emerging leaders. Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years time? How do you think I can help you achieve this?

The best time to discuss any reservations or concerns is today.

If it can’t be addressed or you want assistance at any time call [0488 123 125] or email [].

Alternatively, if you feel a discussion or goal is outside of the program scope, but are happy and comfortable continuing this relationship - free to continue. Know that we are here to support you in whatever way we can.

Re-read the T&Cs here.