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Olivia Liddell - CodeMash 2019 - Becoming an Effective Mentor

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Have you ever thought about becoming a mentor but didn’t know how to get started? Mentoring is a valuable tool for professional development that can result in positive outcomes for both the mentor and the mentee. In this session, you will learn:

- How to identify the specific skills and strengths that you could potentially offer as a mentor.

- Strategies for how to build formal and informal mentoring relationships in the workplace.

- Best practices for communication in mentoring, including how to give constructive feedback and understanding the importance of of active listening.

- Strategies for overcoming common fears that might be preventing you from wanting to become a mentor. If you’ve ever considered becoming a mentor but felt that you didn’t have enough time, that you’re too much of a beginner yourself, or even that your communication skills might be holding you back, this session is for you.

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Olivia Liddell - CodeMash 2019 - Becoming an Effective Mentor

  1. 1. Becoming an Effective Mentor Olivia Liddell Cloud Training Specialist at Cloudbakers @oliravi
  2. 2. About Me ⬩ Cloud Training Specialist at Cloudbakers ⬩ Former Chicago Public Schools teacher ⬩ Lots of experience with mentoring ○ Mentor and mentee ○ Formal and informal
  3. 3. Objectives ⬩ Identify strengths that you could offer as a mentor ⬩ Begin building mentoring relationships at work ⬩ Improve your communication skills as a mentor ⬩ Overcome common fears related to mentoring
  4. 4. An effective mentor is someone who... tiny.cc/effectivementor
  5. 5. Identify skills and strengths that are specific.
  6. 6. Reflected Best Self Exercise 1. Select 3-5 respondents and ask for feedback: “I am at my best when…” 2. Identify patterns in their responses. 3. Compose your self portrait.
  7. 7. Other Questions to Consider ⬩ When did you make a mistake and learn from it? ⬩ What is something that you struggled with at the beginning of your career? ⬩ If you could go back to the beginning of your career, what is something that you would do differently?
  8. 8. Informal vs. Formal
  9. 9. Informal vs. Formal Mentoring Informal ⬩ Mentors and mentees self-select ⬩ Goals are unspecified ⬩ Outcomes are usually not tracked or measured Formal ⬩ Mentors and mentees are paired based on compatibility ⬩ Goals are established ⬩ Outcomes are tracked and measured
  10. 10. Informal mentoring: Proactively seek out opportunities to connect.
  11. 11. Informal Mentoring ⬩ Offer support when you can --- but don’t force it. ⬩ Be open and approachable, especially to interns and junior members of your team. ⬩ Host an internal speed networking event. ⬩ Let the relationship be driven by the mentee.
  12. 12. Formal mentoring: Start with the end goals in mind.
  13. 13. Formal Mentoring ⬩ Start by defining the purpose and timeline. ○ Technical / Career / Leadership ⬩ Determine exactly how the effectiveness of the program will be measured. ○ Competency assessments, retention rates, improved job performance rates, etc. ⬩ Set regular check-in intervals. ⬩ Let the relationship be driven by the mentee.
  14. 14. Mentoring Checklist (so far)  Identify your specific skills and strengths.  Decide on a formal or informal mentoring approach.  Now what?
  15. 15. Listen before you speak.
  16. 16. Communication Phases ⬩ Active listening ⬩ Paraphrasing ⬩ Clarifying ⬩ Giving feedback
  17. 17. Active Listening Be mindful of your body language. Be encouraging and open. Be present.
  18. 18. Paraphrasing Restating thoughts from a different angle “What I hear you saying is…” “As I understand it, you’re feeling…” “It sounds like you’re saying that…”
  19. 19. Clarifying “What do you mean by…” “Can you tell me more about…” “How do you feel about…”
  20. 20. Giving Feedback Consider your mentee’s perspective. Be specific and direct. Offer suggestions and explain why.
  21. 21. Mentoring Checklist (so far)  Identify your specific skills and strengths.  Decide on a formal or informal mentoring approach.  When communicating, listen before you speak.  But…
  22. 22. Acknowledge your mentoring fears and then create a path forward.
  23. 23. Lacking Strong Communication Skills ⬩ Offer advice and support to mentees through writing. ⬩ Attend meetup events that are related to your personal and professional interests. ⬩ Don’t overthink it! Remind yourself that you do have something to offer to other people.
  24. 24. Not Enough Time ⬩ Focus more on informal mentoring opportunities. ⬩ Ask questions to get clarification about the time commitment for formal mentoring programs. ⬩ Be honest and realistic about how much time and support you are able to offer.
  25. 25. Too Much of a Beginner Yourself ⬩ Focus more on informal mentoring opportunities. ⬩ Start with soft skills mentoring. ○ Communication, creative thinking, teamwork, time management, organization, etc. ⬩ Continue to build your skills, and then teach others what you have learned.
  26. 26. Resources ⬩ SHRM: Creating a Mentoring Program ⬩ MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership ⬩ “Thoughts on mentorship in tech” ⬩ “Effective approaches to mentoring women in tech”
  27. 27. Recap ⬩ Identify skills and strengths that are specific. ⬩ Informal: Proactively seek out opportunities to connect. ⬩ Formal: Start with the end goals in mind. ⬩ Listen before you speak. ⬩ Acknowledge your mentoring fears and then create a path forward.
  28. 28. Becoming an Effective Mentor Olivia Liddell Cloud Training Specialist at Cloudbakers @oliravi

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