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Successful Mentoring Part 2

Accredited mentor

Successful Mentoring Part 2

What does the mentee expect from her mentors?

 

Last week I wrote about what do mentors expects from their mentee. So it would only be fair to discuss what the mentee expects from mentor 😊.

What do they expect?

I have asked multiple mentees this question while writing my master’s thesis on the mentoring topic, consulting companies, and evaluating their mentoring programs.

 

I received multiple unique answers. But after many interviews, one crucial point emerged:

FOR A MENTEE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO FEEL THAT THE MENTOR CARES ABOUT THEM AND THEIR PROGRESS.

 And that feeling appears when:

 

 

– A mentor takes the mentee’s situation seriously. He is trying to understand it, be in the mentee’s shoes, and, together with him, look for the answer.

 

– A mentor is preparing for their meetings. He doesn’t arrive for an improvised discussion. He analyzes the current situation before the meeting and considers what could be beneficial to the mentee and how he could help them.

 

– The mentor doesn’t transfer directly to his mentee his personal experience and personal thoughts. His experience helps the mentee decide how to act and what direction to take.

 

– The mentor keeps agreements. The meetings happen when they are planned. And if there are some changes, the mentee is informed early.

 

– The mentor reflects on his and mentees’ work, on the mentoring relationship. He also encourages the mentee to reflect on their relationship, meetings, results.

 

– The mentor knows the competencies he needs as a mentor. He evaluates them, and if needs, he improves in the field.

 

– The mentor, when first meeting his mentee, initiates the agreement about boundaries and later keeps to the agreed boundaries. Suppose the mentor feels that the mentoring is starting to go away from the original goal. Then he talks about it to his mentee.

 

– A mentor understands the importance of confidentiality and ethics.

 

 

I could keep naming examples 😊  But for this time, let’s stop here.

IN SHORT

A mentor is not just a person who has some experience in a specific field.

A mentor also is a leader. It is important to remember that when diving into the deep mentoring waters.

What would you add to this list? What does the mentee expect from mentors?

Successful Mentoring

Accredited mentor

Successful Mentoring

How to get ready for mentoring as a mentee

 

In the past years, I find more and more articles about mentoring. That is delightful.

I believe that the number of organizations that welcome or change mentoring in their organizations is also increasing.

Mentoring is simple and complicated at the same time.

It can be successful and unsuccessful due to many attributes. However, this time let’s talk about the mentee. And how they can determine if the mentoring will be successful or unsuccessful.

What does the mentee have to do to gain the most from the mentoring and encourage the mentor to search for more ways to help the mentee with their vast amounts of knowledge?

What does a mentee need to know?

  • What do they need?!😊

Not just start looking for a mentor in a specific field, but first, make a list with answers to why do you need this mentor? How can he help you?

 

 

  • Do you need a mentor specifically?

You would need to clearly understand the differences between mentors, coaching specialists, consultants, sponsors, therapists, etc. When you are sure about your choice, then you can start looking for your mentor.

 

 

  • Who is your mentor?

A mentor’s experience in a specific field is essential, but it isn’t only one criterion for successful mentoring. Their personality and values are important as well.  While you pick your mentor, you have to keep in mind that you have to trust your mentor.

When you are matched with your mentor by mentoring program team, then during your first meetings, you should discuss everything that would seem vital for you both so that you could trust each other. If your first meetings are not going smoothly enough and don’t build up the wanted connection, you should immediately talk with the Mentoring Program Manager.

 

 

  • All “material” is what the mentee provided to the mentoring.

 The mentor needs to prepare, but he can’t do anything if you don’t give them information.

 

 

  • The initiative is in your hands.

 

You are the one who is motivated, organized, and cares about your mentoring relationship. You need to ask questions, share situations and your ideas. You have to help the mentor understand how he can use his experience to help you.

You have to prepare for your meetings and send information to your mentor that he could also do the same.

You control the mentoring relationship. If something not ok, you should talk with your mentor.

 

 

  • Keep agreements.

During the meeting, look for directions, share ideas, agree on what you will do. And then – do it!

Do you want that the mentoring will be successful?

PREPARE FOR MEETINGS!

 

If you are a mentor, what would you point out to the mentee?

Is mentorship supposed to be free?

Mentoring Process 1

Is mentorship supposed to be free?

To pay or not to pay:

that is the question

One of my previous blog posts has already mentioned one source on the internet naming off the differences between mentoring and coaching. The author pointed there that coaching specialists are accredited, while the mentors are not. (Not true. More about it in my post “How to choose a mentor? Accreditation).

Another difference the author talked about was that coaching is a paid service, while mentoring is free. Once again, not valid.

Voluntary / Paid Mentoring’s topic has already been sitting in my list of themes to talk about.  But it would always be delayed. Since I always thought, maybe I should not write about money.

However, today, after one of my comments on LinkedIn about mentoring, I received a private message that asked: What I thought about paid mentoring. Doesn’t it go against its philosophy?

That comment flew me to the past, in Barcelona.

In these strange times, only with memories and thoughts can I go there ☹.

The trip to the past

A few years ago, at an international conference, the speaker said that mentoring could be a matter of honor. Categorically.

 The room became deafening. For some time, there was even an uncomfortable feeling lingering in the air. That line changed one attendant. Later, when she asked the speaker a question, she also mentioned that she gets paid for mentoring and is proud of it. She does believe in mentoring. She studied it a lot, and it’s now her career. She is pleased that she can have the job, which gives her and her mentee meaning. Why does it have to be a hobby?

Let’s stop for a minute

This story happened because formal mentoring is only taking its first steps in the speaker’s country.  But a point of view has already been formed that mentoring is just a voluntary occupation.

In the attendant country, mentoring already has profound roots. There the approach of European mentoring started. Even in a university, you can study mentoring as your future job and profession. So, the view here is drastically different. Mentoring can be both a paid and voluntary activity.

But it depends on a lot of things.

Is this mentoring program in the organization you are working in or not? Maybe it’s a mentoring program in some project in which you are participating?

Recently I noticed more and more different mentoring initiatives for women. Their tasks are to encourage them to be more active in the business, in science, etc.

You have most likely heard of mentoring programs targeted at pupils, students, diversity.

You can find many mentoring programs dedicated to many different groups with different goals.

In these mentoring programs mentoring will be almost 100% free.

 

However, if you acknowledge the value of mentoring, you want to move forward in life, and you look for a mentor yourself,  it is very likely, that you will pay for the mentoring. But it’s not a rule. There are many different mentoring platforms in the wide world, where you can find mentors for free.

To pay or not to pay mentors for mentoring inside organizations?

If it is a mentoring program inside an organization, we will find mentoring programs where mentors are paid for their mentoring, and there are many mentoring programs where they are not.

Mentoring programs are, in many cases, a catalyst for achieving a leadership position. Even if for the mentoring inside of the organization you didn’t get paid, by participating, you got something else. You got the ability to improve your skillset. These skills are helpful not only in mentoring but also in leadership. Also,  you get help in all that process.

I have had encounters with both voluntary and paid mentoring.

Both of the encounters have their plusses and minuses individually. Deciding which one to choose, it is essential to know what the plusses and minuses are and understand and control them.

To understand which mentoring type is better  -voluntary or paid – is simply impossible. You can only decide which mentoring type will be better for the specific organization by studying its inside culture and possibilities.

THE END

Will mentoring be free, or will you have to pay for it depends on the country and its mentoring traditions. It also depends on whether an American or European mentoring approach dominates in the country. Are you participating in an organized mentoring program, or are you looking for a mentor by yourself? Are you looking for some concrete mentor, or are you just looking for any mentor in an entire field?

Once I heard such a perfect answer to the question, “Do you need to pay the mentor?”. The answer was a question “Do you want a gift or professional help?”. Both one and the other are good. Everything depends on what you need.

If mentoring is a gift, then you, as a mentee, have to adapt to the mentor’s abilities, and you have to be grateful for everything you get, even if your expectations were different. Well, it is a gift. We say thank you and smile😊.

If mentoring is paid, it has a structure. Meetings are regulated and happen at decided times; the mentor usually spends more time preparing, your goals are their priority, and so on.

In different life situations, we most likely need other mentors as well. Sometimes we choose a voluntary mentor, and sometimes we pay for his work.

I will be waiting for your ideas about mentoring. Your questions could turn into my answers in this blog.

What is a good mentoring program? Part II

Accredited mentor

What is a good mentoring program? Part II

THE STANDARTS FOR MENTORING PROGRAMS

 

Snippets of mentoring conversations.

***

– Hi Lina, Aurelie just called and he still doubts we are ready to start. The purpose of our mentoring program is still unclear to her. She says that in the previous mentoring program it was absolutely clear who, to whom, and the like.

And now, there are some more uncertainties for her.  Maybe we should review ourselves again and then meet all the managers again? So that no one has questions anymore and everyone understands in the same way what, how and why we do.

***

– Listen, I have achieved so much in my field! I have agreed to mentor and share my knowledge, and you tell me that there are some other competencies I need? And that I should take this into account?  You may not have used the dictionary? Do you know a definition of mentoring?  Mentoring is the help of the more experienced for the less experienced. And that’s it. What other competencies? What other training? I will help as I wish!  

***

– Maybe you can take a look today at the document I sent you. There I wrote down the criteria according to which the system would allow to choose the most suitable mentor for the mentee. The point is that the system automatically selects the three most suitable mentors, and then the mentee himself can decide which mentor to apply for mentoring. Like that we will keep the nuances of freedom and responsibility, because mentees will be able to choose a mentors for themselves. And at the same time, we will allow them to choose only those who can help them the most, based on certain criteria.

***

– It’s been a full month since the start of our third mentoring program. I am so happy and hope that we already have the seeds of mentoring culture!

Yesterday, what I had been waiting for a long time happened at the meeting

 Imagine, again, we tried to find a solution to that stuck project where opinions clashed between departments. Every leader in the meetings kept trying to prove he was the most right.

And today, completely unexpectedly, I heard Mark say to Idu “your idea is quite good, maybe after a little adjustment it could work”.

 It seems to me that that proposal has been made many times before, only that there was no desire to hear and appreciate it.

In the past, those two only communicated through joint meetings, they did not encounter anywhere else. And the opinions about each other’s unit weren’t the best. One shouted that we know best because we work directly with clients, and another shouted that you are stuck in everyday life and no longer see the bigger picture.

 What has changed?

It turns out Mark was the mentor of one of Ido’s employees. And by interacting with that mentee, he unknowingly learned more about how Ido’s unit works. And what he learned, he quite liked. And then the desire to hear and consider the opinion of another appeared.  

– Well, it’s enough about that, better tell me how the mentoring program itself is going, what problems are we facing, what help was needed? Did anyone need to change the mentor?  

***

– Did Marius really sign the mentoring agreement? His behavior shows that he has heard nothing about confidentiality in mentoring! As I was just passing by, I heard him sharing fragments of his conversation with mentee in the office. Maybe we can talk to him and remind him of his responsibility and agreement?

***

Mentor:

-That’s all, I don’t know how to behave anymore, Agnes does not follow our agreements at all, she does not prepare for meetings. Looks like she’s just coming to chat with me and then she doesn’t do anything. I feel like I’m wasting my time. I need help because I already want to quit everything.

Mentoring program manager:

– I have a Zoom meeting in 10 minutes, but it will only take 30 minutes, so if you call me an hour later we could talk about it.

So what are the standards of a mentoring program?

  • Clarity of purpose.
  • Stakeholder training and briefing.
  • Process for selection and matching.
  • Process for measurement and review.
  • Maintains high standard of ethics.
  • Administration and support.

So if your program meets these standards you can expect success.

Don’t stumble while implementing. A lot of companies fall asleep after the matching phase. It looks like a mentor and a mentee are there, and then you can already be calm down.

 Definitely not. It’s just the beginning. There may be many more nuances to deal with in the process in order to really succeed.

By the way, snippets of conversations are real, heard during interviews, sharing stories. Of course the names and form were changed, but the essence remained the same.

Why are you interested in a mentoring culture? I look forward to your thoughts!  

Why is it worth developing mentoring programs? Part II

Accredited mentor

Why is it worth developing mentoring programs? Part II

Mentoring “infection” and the consequences of all this.

Benefits of mentoring.

 

I’m talking to a friend.

She says:

– We decided that we want to buy a new car. So far, we have been buying cars that are several years old. And then when we bought a new one, friends in our environment started buying new ones. Because well, somehow that’s how we get “infected”.

You probably know a lot of such situations yourself.

Example „infects“

Well, someone you know has decided and changed jobs. As if we are infected with that thought and rethinking our situation. Maybe we should look for something new?  Do you recognize this kind of situation?

Just when that phenomenon occurs in the immediate environment, we observe what is happening, talk to friends, colleagues, we hear arguments, “measure” whether it would suit us as well. Because if we thought the opposite before, like I really don’t need it, but when it comes up next, you start thinking about it.

Mentoring “infection”

When a mentoring culture is formed in an organization, the desire to share knowledge, experience, thoughts, or to accept it from others is greater. And what shows that it is formed?

  • Mentoring is achieved by hand in an organization;
  • I can join both a formal and an informal mentoring program;
  • I can become both a mentor and a mentee at any time;
  • I can decide the duration of mentoring myself;
  • I can choose who will be my mentor and/or to whom I will mentor;
  • Competencies, knowledge that I improve or acquire through mentoring I transfer to work routine;
  • Mentoring becomes a habit and so on.

That is how this “infection” spreads. Then we notice that more and more people in the organization are starting to mentor in both formal and informal mentoring programs. Or we just start sharing with each other more often, thus developing mentoring culture.

Transferring the value created by mentoring to other work activities

And even better is that after creating a mentoring culture, all that we apply in mentoring is involuntarily transferred to other work activities:

  • We listen and hear each other more during meetings.
  • We enter the discussion in search of the best solution for the organization, not defending our position.
  • We reflect. And it allows you to stop and understand what is going on, what emotions arise, where there are opinions, and where there are facts. This helps to create the positive work environment.

And this is only a small part of the value created by that mentoring culture for the organization.

This is one part of my puzzle about mentoring. You can search for other details in the picture by following the paths below.

 Good luck and see you!  

WHAT TO ACHIEVE FROM MENTORING PROGRAM? Part II

Engagement & Respect

WHAT TO ACHIEVE FROM MENTORING PROGRAM? Part II

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

 

My friend, reviewing her daily routine in recent months, she remembers having a particularly large amount of work, that they were not reduced during the quarantine, and that they have to be done in a shorter time than usual, depending on the situation. And she added that such a shorter deadline is likely to remain after the quarantine as the employees handle their work. But they are a little sad, they have little motivation to try and do.

As I read her letter, it quickly connects with the thoughts expressed during many of my interviews with employees, that it is very important for them to feel that their work is valued, respected, their comments are understandable, noticeable.

Engagement in organization

As Kristie Rogers states, “Show your employees that they are valued and your business will flourish”

Employee engagement is one of the goals. Most organizations declare that they seek it. They are looking for ways, but still spinning in a vicious circle. Those employees seem to be so stubborn and unwilling to get engaged in any way.

Whatever you think, most employees want it. To be involved, be part of the organization. They want an environment that helps them achieve organizational results where they feel psychologically safe and supported. And as a result, they are determined to donate more than one hour to the prosperous organization in which they are working. But they must also feel that what they are doing is valued by top executives, that each particular employee is part of the success of the company.

Owed and Earned Respect

According to K. Rogers, her research reveals that employees distinguish between two expressions of appreciation, respect –OWED (by itself) and EARNED.

The first, the OWED respect, is the same for all employees, available by itself. It responds to the need for all of us to feel involved, belonging to a particular group, to feel valuable. The second, the EARNED respect, is our recognition for some of our competencies, qualities, tasks performed. It responds to our need to be valued for our good work.

 

Creating a respectful environment in the organization, ensuring both of these types of respect promotes the personal growth of each employee. Those employees who feel that they are respected, their activities and results are valued, are loyal to the organization, achieve better results, prefer to cooperate with each other, are more creative, tend to trust the decisions of managers.

Mentoring and Engagement

Employees engagement is one of the answers to the question “What we achieve from Mentoring program?

Mentoring helps to create exactly the kind of environment that is respectful of each other. By developing the competencies needed for mentors, by constantly mentoring, we naturally transfer all these skills into our daily activities. By creating a Mentoring culture, we expand our acquaintance network, which leads us to smoother collaboration, support, help each other, easier agreements, and the discovery of more effective solutions.

When evaluating the engagement of your organization’s staff, consider the existence of both of these types of respect and Mentoring culture. This will help in selecting or refining measures to encourage employee engagement.

 

Are the staff in your organization feel engaged?

Let me a message 🙂