Mentoring

What is Mentoring?

Mentoring is a relationship between two people with the goal of professional and personal development. A mentor is typically an experienced person who shares knowledge, experience, and advice with a mentee interested in learning or growing in that area of expertise.

Mentors become trusted advisers and role models – people who have "been there" and "done that." They support and encourage their mentees by offering suggestions and knowledge, both general and specific. The goal is to help mentees improve their skills and, hopefully, advance their careers. (Mindtools)

What’s in it for a Mentor?

  • Gain personal satisfaction by contributing to the professional or career development of team members.

  • Practice leadership, effective communication, and coaching skills.*

  • Increased expertise in the subject area when one mentors another.

To teach is to learn twice. Joseph Joubert

What’s in it for a Mentee?

  • Learn new skills related to your current role, your future career goals, or an area that you're passionate about.*

  • Showcase seriousness about career and professional development by initiating mentoring programs for growth and development.

Find a Mentor

Mentors and the programs they offer are available here. Schedule a discovery session with your prospective mentor.

Become a Mentor

To become a mentor, approach your performance coach for the six-week peer mentoring program. The sessions will be conducted as a part of your coaching sessions. Once you complete the program, you will be listed as a Peer Mentor here.

Mentoring Guidelines

  1. Be clear on expectations - what is expected from both the mentor and the mentee.

  2. Set clear goals.

  3. Honor each other's time commitments.

  4. Express differences and disagreements in a manner that is clear and respectful of each other.

  5. If the mentoring relationship is not working out, end it amicably. 

  6. Always have a closing session, even if you are stopping midway for any reason. Closures make way for new beginnings.

  7. Mentors: Provide a safe space for learning, be open to questions, accept a lack of knowledge on the mentee's part, and avoid ridiculing the mentee.

  8. Mentee: Be present, participate, turn off all distractions, be an effective listener, and be committed to your assignments.

  9. When mentoring across different geographic locations, be mindful of cultural differences and provide space for one to share any cultural discomfort with choice of words or semantics.

  10. Mentee: The mentor is not a trained trainer or facilitator - be patient with their challenges in transferring learning from their expertise to you. Not everyone is a great orator or perfectly articulate — express gratitude.

  11. Mentor: The mentee has chosen to be mentored by you, thus acknowledging your expertise/ capability— express gratitude.

  12. Collaborate on every aspect of the mentoring program. 

  13. Always follow up.

  14. Commitment is key. Do not sign up for a mentoring program if you are not committed to a mentor or a mentee.

  15. Identify your biases at play. Beware of your perceptions, your assumptions, your subjective judgments governing your interactions. Set them aside and accept individuals the way they are both as mentors and mentees. 

  16. Maintain clear and appropriate boundaries.

Mentor-Mentee Training

  1. A Peer Mentor needs to have been trained on all the EQ topics of mentoring with their Performance Coach.

  2. LinkedIn Learning offers training called How to be a Good Mentor and Mentee. This training covers strategies for finding a mentor, setting clear expectations, and achieving goals through mentorship.

  3. These resources are meant to provide both mentors and mentees with additional personal and professional development. Consider reviewing these resources asynchronously and discuss/debrief them during a session with your mentor/mentee.

    1. Why the Power of Mentoring can Change the World? - Shirley Liu

    2. The Power of Mentoring - Reggie Nelson

(Points 2 & 3 taken from Gitlab)

Before mentorship begins

Program Duration and Meeting Schedule:

The following guidelines need to be kept in mind when deciding the program duration and meeting schedule:

  1. The length of mentoring programs will depend upon the topic.

  2. Before deciding on the duration of the program, the mentor sets up a discovery session with the mentee. The discovery session covers what the mentor is offering, the mentee's goal in wanting mentorship on the topic, whether it is a knowledge program or application program, the time and availability of both the mentor and mentee and the setting of expectations. 

  3. The mentor will share the overall program objectives and timeline with the mentee based on the discovery session.

  4. If the mentor is unsure of the program duration, begin with a six-session format. The six-week structure would include mentoring sessions from session 1 to session 5. Session 6 can be the closure session where learnings and takeaways are captured.

  5. The duration of the program can be extended or decreased, if required.

  6. Then Mentoring sessions can be held weekly for 45-60 mins. However, this is flexible and can be mutually agreed upon by the mentor and mentee.

  7. The mentee schedules the calendar invite for the entire program. 

Setting agendas:

Agendas give direction to both the Mentor and Mentee. The mentor decides and shares the plan with the mentee. 

Agendas can be specific or fluid. Particular agendas are determined between the mentor and the mentee when the topic, the number of sessions, and objectives are clear.

Fluid agendas are created when more clarity is needed, either on the objectives to be covered or the time to cover the topic.

We can use the Culture Amp portal to record the session and progress for the mutual benefit of both the mentor and the mentee. 

Action Items:

The mentor, in most cases, will assign action items to the mentee. The mentee decides the timelines for the action item to be completed. When undertaking a Mentoring session, the mentee agrees to the methodology of mentoring, which includes completing action items and assignments as indicated by the mentor. 

Sample Agenda and Action Items Templates

References:

  1. https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCDV_72.htm  

  2. https://about.gitlab.com/handbook/people-group/learning-and-development/mentor/#sample-agendas

  3. https://support.peoplegrove.com/hc/en-us/articles/360001265792-Structure-Goals-and-Agendas

  4. https://wms.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/Sample%20Meeting%20Agendas%20and%20Emails%20for%20Mentors.pdf