Mentoring Best Practices – Part One

For Managers participating in our Top Talent, High Potential and Leadership Development Programs that include a Mentoring Engagement. Here are Mentoring Best Practices to help you make the most of your mentoring relationships. Further discussion about the difference between mentoring and coaching can be found here.

What is Mentoring?
Mentoring is:
1. Transferring relevant experience to help the mentee succeed.
2. Working in an informal environment to develop skills and acquire knowledge.
3. Finding ways to challenge and grow beyond current responsibilities.
4. Helping to adapt to challenges, opportunities and to change.
5. Developing a relationship focused on personal and professional growth.
6. Fostering understanding of organizational dynamics and culture.

Mentoring is not:
1. Managing job related responsibilities.
2. Evaluating performance.
3. A substitute for the development process between supervisors and subordinates
4. On-the-job training to remedy substandard performance.
5. Formal coaching engagement.

Mentoring Guidelines:
1. The mentor is not in the mentee’s direct chain of command.
2. Look for opportunities for face to face. When this is not feasible meet on the phone. Ideally, the mentor and the mentee meet face to face once a month.
3. A typical monthly meeting can be 60-90 minutes.
4. Additional phone dialogue between meetings can address specific questions and advice.
5. The mentee is responsible for setting up meetings.
6. Regular, periodic and predictable meetings create commitment, rhythm and momentum.
7. Mentoring issues should be kept confidential.
8. Discuss and agree on boundaries.
9. The best mentoring relationships promote frank and honest exchange.
10. Develop your practices and agreements as you go along.

© Aviv Shahar

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