Activity: Speed Mentoring

Through strategic conversations with others, you can learn with and from one another, and build community. This exercise will promote respect and being curious about each other’s lived experiences, regardless of whether they match one’s own experience, elevate understanding and facilitate creative problem solving.


Taking time to learn about each other through active listening and genuine discourse will surface different values, perspectives and interests. It will also expand your network and knowledge about the profession through unstructured informational interviews.


30-45 minute/meeting. Conduct meetings throughout the course of the mentoring relationship.


Writing utensil and paper or journal for taking notes (optional)




  1. Set up meetings with various colleagues across your institutions to have coffee to learn more about their work experiences. These are short, strategic conversations on specific topics as a way to have a shared experience and broaden your understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing your institution. 
  2. Prepare a list of 5-10 questions that could help guide your conversation. If you are the mentee performing these meetings, ask your mentor for feedback on your questions. 
  3. Come to the meeting actively ready to listen and ask questions.


  • Take notes as a way to remember the answers to your questions, as well as to demonstrate active listening. 
  • Avoid gossip, rather focus on ideas and trends in your field.


Download the instructions for this activity.