What is the Adjourning Stage?
In this final stage of group development, members prepare to say goodbye. The main goals of the Adjourning stage are to achieve closure and end on a positive note. Group members need time to reflect on their individual participation and growth. It is also important to recognize the growth, progress, and achievements of the group as a whole. This is a time to celebrate all that’s been accomplished! On the other hand, members have likely bonded and may feel sad about the group coming to an end. They may show this sadness by not participating or seeming unmotivated. It is important for everyone to leave with a sense of closure and a chance to say goodbye. Activities that help wrap up group projects and start the process of ending can be helpful during this stage. Planning a celebration or ritual that fosters closure as well as excitement about the future may be an excellent way to bring the group to an end.
What is the Mentor’s Role?
Mentors plan for the closure of the group during the Adjourning stage. It is important for them to begin communicating this plan early on to ensure a healthy ending. The process of ending mentoring groups will depend on individual group characteristics, so mentors will need to understand how ending may affect their particular mentees. Mentors may choose to create a timeline to facilitate the end of the group (the last 4-5 sessions), which can include devoting time to 1) reflecting on accomplishments and experiences, 2) discussing how to apply lessons learned to new relationships, 3) talking through feelings (e.g. sadness, gratitude for time spent together), and 4) holding a special celebration or ceremony to commemorate the group’s participants and accomplishments. In addition, mentors can encourage members to network and stay in touch with one another as well as respectfully and compassionately address uncertainty or insecurity about the future. It is important to end the group with a sense of hope for the future and let the mentees know that they will be missed.
What is the Mentee’s Role?
In this stage, the mentees evaluate and reflect on their growth and progress. They may share what their experiences in the group have meant to them, and discuss strengths, goals, and aspirations. It is important that each mentee have a chance to share their reflections and progress with the group. As members have developed deeper relationships with each other, they may find ending their time with the group difficult. However, mentees can plan to keep open lines of communication with each other, and continue supporting one another. Mentees continue to find and share meaning in their own experiences within the group, as well as validating and congratulating one another on personal and academic growth.
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