Launching the mentor relationship

launching the mentor relationship

6 Key Components for Launching a Successful Mentoring Program. Posted on May 13, Trust: The relationship must be built on trust. For both. A pilot mentoring program is being launched at the convention and if it who are interested in engaging in professional developmental relationships. has learned exactly what it takes to make mentor-mentee relationships truly When First Round launched its Mentorship Program in , we didn't know.

launching the mentor relationship

It will make you appear and feel prepared — and set strong expectations. We know this might be difficult in less formal settings, but there are some rules that we do think you should apply to create more effective connections. These are geared toward mentees: Kick off relationships around distinct problems or challenges: One of the best ways to get a lot of value out of a mentor is to present something specific for them to help you solve. It might be seeing your startup through a successful launch, releasing a feature, building out a design team, or managing an underperformer.

You can be detailed in the help you need, and your mentor will know they provided concrete and measurable help. This is far better than asking someone for general or ongoing career advice. This goes hand in hand with the rule above. Consider setting a soft deadline on an initial engagement from the beginning: Create a schedule — but keep it loose. Choosing a challenge or problem to base your mentorship around sets you up well to ask for a series of meetings.

Four Tips For Launching A Sustainable Mentoring Program | Ellevate

In order for this type of relationship to truly change the way you work, you need some regularity and predictability. In most cases, people talk with their mentors whenever something comes up or they get stuck. In this situation, mentors generally provide an off-the-cuff analysis and advice that may or may not be their best thinking.

  • 6 Key Components for Launching a Successful Mentoring Program

Regular meetings empower duos to come prepared and make smarter, incremental progress — while getting to know each other better. The key, however, is to not impose a rigid or unrealistic cadence. Everyone is busy, particularly very accomplished people. Things come up, fires break out. If you're too dead set on a schedule, one cancellation can throw the whole thing off track.

Measure progress every meeting. If you had to quantify it, what would you say? Having this type of rough metric to share is helpful for both mentors and mentees. It provides momentum and aids in goal setting.

launching the mentor relationship

This keeps the work and conversation moving forward. Carve out time to exchange goals. Likewise, at the end of every meeting, you want to designate minutes for both people to summarize their immediate goals.

We Studied 100 Mentor-Mentee Matches — Here’s What Makes Mentorship Work

The mentee should use this time to review what was discussed during the conversation and distill it into action items — selecting those that can be accomplished by the next meeting.

What are their short-term objectives? What needs to happen for them to accomplish these tasks? Is there anywhere that you as the mentee can jump in and help? Perhaps you can make a referral or introduction.

6 Key Components for Launching a Successful Mentoring Program – Women of HR

Maybe you can be a sounding board or second pair of eyes. This will make any mentor more inclined to work with you in the future, and is a key part of providing positive energy. The 10 Commandments of Mentorship Yes, we know that title is cheesy, but there are 10, and they truly should be heeded in order to make mentoring matter. Some are more for mentors, some are more for mentees — but both should keep them all in mind. Don't use the word 'mentor' A little ironic for an article all about mentorship, but nearly all of the mentors we spoke to identified use of the word as the number one reason they were dissuaded or disinclined to talk to someone.

It carries some negative connotations with it: This type of mentee approach is much preferred: Might you have time to meet for coffee? Always buy them the coffee. You sit down with your mentor every so often, buy them coffee or a beer, and then download their wisdom. The best way to prevent this is to use your first meeting to deepen your personal connection. All of this will factor into how the work itself can be approached optimally, and will highlight issues that might need to be worked through.

Where do they live? Where does it cause worry or stress or inspire enthusiasm? If a mentee is struggling with relationships with executives, hiring decisions, gaps in their skill set, motivating their team — having a more developed sense of who they are as a person will help elicit the best advice for handling it.

launching the mentor relationship

Personality, introversion, extroversion, how they manage time, and what they enjoy doing will all make a difference. This also sets a more conversational cadence for all future interactions. It makes everyone human, emphasizes what is shared in common and is more bi-directional. It also breaks down what might be an intimidating power dynamic, and makes you feel more comfortable as peers.

They highly encourage mentees to treat meetings the way they would 1: Mentors can then read through the day before and come armed with their own questions, more prepared thoughts, and a sense for how they want to contribute. A good rule of thumb is for mentees to come with one topic they definitely want to address, and a short list of questions that will get them the clarity they need on that topic.

When communicating this to mentors, consider framing your questions as: Don't boil the ocean in every meeting One of the hazards of mentorship meetings is that there can be far too much to discuss. Very few startup professionals only have one major challenge or problem on their plate.

This will only limit how deep your conversation can go on the issues that matter most. Be really intentional about picking the questions you really want to solve in the space of an hour. Try to keep things really tied to the decisions that need to get made, or the solutions that need to be found. If a meeting agenda is too jam-packed, or if things start with the mentee listing too many concerns, call a timeout and rewrite that agenda.

launching the mentor relationship

Mentor and mentee should take five minutes to co-create a more realistic and focused punch list. Ask your mentor to check your blind spots Experience gives mentors a different vantage point to see a lot of what you, as a mentee, may not. Ideally, they have been in your shoes earlier in their career. For example, one sales mentor saw that her mentee had trouble closing deals.

The mentor had been in this position before, and knew that it was actually because she was reaching out to the wrong type of customer. They can tell you how the story is likely to end to save you time going down roads yourself. One of the best meeting progressions Narcisse has seen is: Mentor explains how they've tackled a similar challenge. Mentee explains how conditions might be different based on their business or situation.

Four Tips For Launching A Sustainable Mentoring Program

Look for themes and organizing principles Some of the greatest value a mentor can provide is identifying themes in what their mentee shares and providing broader, organizing principles from their experience that can solve many problems at once. This is an area where mentors can provide pretty unique value. Consider looking across agendas for your meetings, and any notes you take.

What situations continue to emerge? Can they be batched into themes? Is there a type of problem that's giving a mentee more trouble than others?

Is it possible to take on all at once? For example, one mentee was having trouble making staffing decisions.

launching the mentor relationship

His mentor was able to share a framework for easing these types of decisions across functional areas. Be honest and transparent This is critically important on both sides. For example, the mentoring may be needed to fill a skills gap.

IACC Launch Mentoring Program

Also, both the mentor and mentee must be committed to the importance of the mentoring process and make it a priority. There are two types of communication involved. The first communication is to introduce employees to the mentoring program and ensure that they know what the mentoring is for and who can participate. The second type of communication is between the mentor and mentee. They may meet one-on-one, in groups, by email or videoconference, or by other means, but the meetings should be regular.

The relationship must be built on trust. For both parties to feel comfortable sharing at the level that can truly be effective, there must be an understanding and commitment to maintain the confidentiality of the communication.

The process may be formal or informal. In addition, both parties must be actively engaged to move at an appropriate speed. HR should establish check-in points two months, four months, six months, eight months and then a final meeting to ensure that both parties are reaching their goals and milestones.