Activity: Creating Shared Expectations and Norms

This activity will help you articulate, practice and live the norms of behaviors that you co-create together. It should be done during one of your first meetings to co create norms of behavior expected by both parties in the relationship. 


This activity will bring expectations of the mentoring partners to the forefront of the partnership. By making meaning and norms visible, partners can identify shared understandings of a mentoring relationship, and begin to shape their new relationship and projects accordingly.


30-45 minutes


Handout: Creating Shared Expectations and Norms, Multiple pieces of 8.5×11 size paper, sticky notes, writing utensils and and a large table/wall surface, tape (if using wall surface)


Mentor and Mentee


  1. Frame the activity by writing the following words, each on one piece of 8.5×11 paper: meaning, norms, accountability. If you are using a wall surface, tape them to the wall. These will be your headings to guide you through the activity.
  2. Select a sticky note pad and pen. Reflect on being responsible in a mentoring relationship and what that means to you. Capture a word or phrase per sticky note to share on the table/wall under the “Meaning” heading. 
  3. Reflect on past experiences where you had articulated and shared norms. Describe them and what behaviors made them successful or not. Reflect on how you want to give and receive feedback. Prioritize five or fewer norms and capture them on a sticky note to add to the table/wall under the “Norms” heading.
  4. Reflect and agree on what mutual accountability would look like. Capture one idea per sticky note and add it to the table/wall under the “Accountability” heading.
  5. Review the notes on your surface. What are the themes, similarities, and differences that emerge. Write “Agreement” at the top of a piece of paper and complete the following sentence (with bullets):  “We agree to responsibility for trust and respect in our mentoring relationship. To be in integrity with each other, we will _________________.”
  6. Tape/place the “Agreement” sheet at the top of your surface.
  7. Take time as a team to develop an “Action Plan” to put in place your newly co-created statement so it is at the forefront of your work together.  


Communicate how you will hold one another accountable for following the action plan.  Revisit the action plan every few weeks to assess how you as a team are following it, and if certain elements need to be modified.


Download the instructions for this activity.

noun_sticky notes_149670

Download the handout for this activity.