Saturday, November 23, 2013

More on mentoring

In the previous post I have covered different types of mentoring and today I would like to talk on the benefits and how to kick it off. In the last part on the mentoring subject I will publish an interview with my mentor.


There are a lot of benefits of mentoring for both mentees and mentors but also for the companies.
q  Mentee
Ø  personal growth, development, help in applying learning, higher commitment to the company
Ø  opportunity to explore ideas in a neutral environment
Ø  faster transition into new roles or during change
Ø  develop expertise, wider perspective and larger network
Ø  better management of career goals/progression
Ø  increase confidence and self awareness
q  Mentor
Ø  understanding issues faced by other areas and levels
Ø  improve coaching and communication skills
Ø  satisfaction from helping to develop others
Ø  personal growth, development and enhanced credibility
Ø  exposure to new ideas
q  Business
Ø  better employee focus, engagement and retention
Ø  higher performance and increased knowledge
Ø  more effective transitions, e.g. new roles, change
Ø  employees clearer about their role and the company
Ø  improved communications and inter-departmental co-operation

What are we expecting from both parties?
From mentees:
  • Initiate and drive the relationship – the mentoring process should be mentee driven!
  • Identify initial learning goals
  • Seek feedback and take an active role in their own learning
  • Set up meetings and initiate discussions and activities
  • Allocate time and energy
  • Follow through on commitments

From mentors: 
  • Have reasonable expectations of the mentee
  • Be a resource and provide feedback
  • Allocate time and energy
  • Help the mentee develop an appropriate learning plan
  • Follow through  
Research has shown that effective mentoring can be achieved by just 60 minutes per month, even if not face to face. From my personal experience 60 minutes fortnightly would be the best. Usually mentoring relationships last from 3 up to 12 months, but can take longer if both a mentee and a mentor want to continue it – in my case it is already 3 years.

How to start the mentoring relationship? First 3 meetings goal:
          Meeting 1 – Interview and Agreement
          Establish the relationship and begin building trust
          Define the general direction and expectations for the relationship
          Meeting 2 – Clarifying goals
          Expand the relationship and continue building trust
          Clarify the learning objectives and set preliminary goals
          Meeting 3 – Effective dialog on initial issues
          Expand the relationship and continue building trust
          Use an effective dialog worksheet to clearly discuss your mentoring question or issue

Roundtable session at Agile Management 2013 conference
TIPS for Successful Mentoring:
For the mentor:
-       Assume you know best what’s in the mentee’s interest
-       Decide on the subject of discussion
-       Do most of the talking
-       Hide personal weaknesses
-       Forget that this could be a learning experience for you too 
For the mentee:
-       Bring the long list of things you want the mentor to do for you
-       Expect the mentor to be available whenever you want them
-       Expect the mentor knows all the answers and decide for you when to meet and what to cover
-       Blame the mentor when the advice does not work

-       Forget to follow up on commitments you made.

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