Being a Mentor

IntranetYou have been selected to be a Mentor to one of our new Team Leaders!  Thank you for agreeing to participate in this program.

You were selected because you experience and expertise that will help our team leaders be successful in this new position. 

We also believe you possess the skills needed to help a new leader become acclimated to their new responsibilities.

We appreciate your involvement in this program.  Please take the next few minutes to review this course to gain a better understanding of what is expected.

Section 1:  What is a Mentor?

Thinking of a "mentor" - which item (or items) from the list below would you expect of a mentor?

  • A support person
  • An experienced person helping someone with less experienced
  • A confidante

Section 2:  Mentors are good listeners

Good Listeners...

  • Can listen and work on other work at the same time.
  • Give their undivided attention to the speaker.
  • Quickly jump in when they hear their mentee say something they believe is incorrect.

How to demonstrate effective listening skills

To be a good listener, giving your undivided attention is undoubtedly important.  But what other items show that you're a good listener?

  • Make eye contact.  This does not mean staring down your mentee, but making sure they have your attention. 
  • Listening is often more important that giving advice.  Sometimes we just need to talk things out to understand what we need to do next.
  • Use Reflective Listening skills.  In other words, repeat back in your own words to check to be sure you understand what has been said. 
  • Listen for the words "between" the words.   What is the mentee really saying? 
  • Listen twice as much as you speak.   Listening is physically easier and we can hear many more words than we can speak.  What does this mean?  It gives our mind time to wander!  Stay focused on the words.
  • Filter out emotions.  Stress is common when someone takes on new tasks.  If your mentee is loud, animated, angry or otherwise emotional, try to filter out the emotion to understand what's really going on.

To demonstrate that I am a good listener, I can......

  • Make
    Eye Contact
  • Restate in
    my own words
  • Give non-
    verbal feedback
  • Ask questions
    to clarify

Section 3:  Is a mentor a coach, coach a mentor?

Coach and mentor - same or different?

Coaching:

  • usually involves a finite duration (like a season)
  • focuses on strengthening or eliminating specific behaviors for the here and now
  • help professionals correct behaviors that detract from performance
  • strengthen behaviors that support stronger performance

Mentoring:

  • long term relationship
  • focuses on supporting growth and development of mentee
  • source of wisdom and experience
  • teach and supports
  • does not advise on specific actions or behavioral changes

Big difference!

This comparison explains there are many differences between coaches and mentors!    Thinking about a sports coach - they tell you what you're doing wrong and show you what needs to be done to make it right.

A mentor will advise and suggest, but ultimately, the decision on how to act is made by the mentee.

From the list below, identify all terms that apply to a COACH:

  • Finite duration of relationship
  • Eliminates specific behaviors
  • Is a source of support

From the list below, which terms would describe a MENTOR?

  • Builds long term relationships
  • Eliminates specific behaviors
  • Is a source of support

Section 4:  What does a Mentor do to help their Mentee?

What can I do as a mentor to help my mentee?

  • Meet with your mentee both formally and informally.  A formal meeting, lunch or other more relaxed meeting is appropriate.
  • Be available!  Together with your mentee, decide how best to communicate.  It can include face to face, phone, email, etc.

 

Check in with your mentee.  Is "no news" always good news?  No!  If you haven't heard from your mentee in a while, check in with them, ask how they're doing and offer your assistance.

Be supportive and do not feel that you need to always provide answers and solutions.  An important piece of professional development is learning how to weigh the facts, identify obstacles and make the best decision possible.  A mentee needs to learn this process through the guidance and advice you provide.

Share your time!  Your mentee might approach you with technical questions (easy) and personnel questions (a little less easy), but using the listening skills discussed in Section 2 is a great start to building a positive relationship with your mentee.

Section 5:  Conclusion

In Summary:

Thank you for sharing your skills and expertise as a part of our mentor program.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Manager or Human Resources.