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Making the most of Mentorship


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Most people know that one of the best ways to develop your career is to have a great mentor. Unfortunately most people are also pretty clueless about how to find and use a mentor. This is a deck for those people!

Published in: Business

Making the most of Mentorship

  2. Most people know that one of the best ways to develop your career is to have a great mentor
  3. WARNING I don’t mean a coach!
  4. A coach is someone who helps you build your skills
  5. A mentor is different
  6. A mentor provides experience-earned wisdom and guidance, not knowledge and skills
  7. A mentor helps you choose what to do, when to do it, and why. She does not show you how
  8. Unfortunately most people are pretty clueless about how to find and use a mentor
  9. This deck is for those people!
  10. But first I’d like to remind you why mentors are so important for your career
  11. ONE Mentors have been around the block and they can be role models who point out pitfalls and dead ends that only someone with experience will be able to spot
  12. TWO Mentors have seen people like you before and have seen what works
  13. THREE Mentors can help you build your professional network. They know senior, experienced folks who they can intro you to
  14. FOUR If they are in your firm, mentors can be an internal reference or career advocates when your line manager needs support getting you a promotion or better comp
  15. So assuming this is a relationship you want, how do you go about forming one
  16. The mentoring relationship is actually quite personal, and it is important to pick the right mentor. ACTIVITY 1: As you are selecting the right mentor, make sure you can answer yes to all of the following questions: Do you like and respect the person? Does the person have time and interest? Can being my mentor be of value for them? Can this person help open doors / create opportunities for me? Does this person have the right personality and relevant experience and skills to challenge me in unexpected ways? PICK THE RIGHT MENTOR
  17. Mentors are usually senior, experienced people, and have little time to “chat”. Being efficient and effective is critical for the relationship, and for that you need to be laser focussed on outcomes. You’ll want to work out what you broadly want to achieve? What is the “vision” of the relationship and what does success look like. ACTIVITY 2: Try working backwards and describing yourself “after” the mentoring. What will you look like – then work backwards to work out how to get there. ACTIVITY 3: Figure out how will you know when you have achieved the goals of mentoring? Can you define some tangible metrics that you can use to check yourself against progress? KNOW WHAT YOUR GOALS ARE
  18. Although I just said it, it bears repeating. Be very effective and efficient with your mentor’s time. Being e&e in any meeting starts and ends with great documentation. Here are some best practices to start with… Compose the meeting agendas well in advance Ensure that every agenda item drives outcomes (see previous slide) Give your mentor time to review the agenda and provide feedback Prioritize urgent/important topics first Control time. Be good at estimating how long each item will take to go through, and stick to the times you set Summarize the meeting, focusing on key take-aways & action items CONTROL THE MEETING
  19. A great mentoring session requires deep focus and honesty. So do not have your mentoring session at Starbucks, please. Take the effort to book a place where you and your mentor can focus and speak freely. Finally, make sure that you choose a location that is very convenient for your mentor. Don’t make them work hard for you. CHOOSE THE RIGHT SETTING
  20. This only works if you are going to be honest and make the commitment to challenge yourself and your assumptions. The whole purpose of this is to drive change, and this will only work if you get yourself mentally ready and then be real. At the same time, this can only work if you really actively listen. People listen differently, so think about what works for you. Some people need to write, some people need to record an audio track to review later. Find what works for you. Whatever the case, I strongly encourage you to make time to repeat back, in your own words, what your mentor tells you. This will make sure you understand fully and that you can internalize and personalize the feedback. BE OPEN, HONEST, AND ACTIVELY LISTEN
  21. Warning: Everyone is growing. Everyone makes mistakes. And, everyone is just flat out wrong from time to time. While it is important for you to challenge yourself in a mentoring relationships, and that sometimes means that the sessions take you in uncomfortable directions, make sure that you listen to your internal spider sense and be prepared to say “no” sometimes, while not losing respect for your mentor. No matter what, don’t hold your mentor up on a pedestal. Remember that they are human too. KNOW THAT MENTORS CAN BE WRONG
  22. Despite doing everything right, it may very well be that there is simply no mojo between the two of you. Don’t allow a mentorship relationship to last longer than the value of the relationship. If you are no longer finding value, or if you sense that your mentor is not finding value, stop the mentoring immediately. You need to find a different mentor, and your mentor has better things to do! KNOW WHEN IT’S NOT WORKING
  23. Make sure to recognize your mentors commitment and contribution regularly. Say thank you whenever you have a chance. Better yet, give your mentor tangible, specific examples of where her feedback has yielded positive returns for you in your life or career. This will make your mentor feel better, more motivated to work with you, and give them ideas of what works best SAY THANKS & GIVE FEEDBACK
  24. Please note that all content & opinions expressed in this deck are my own and don’t necessarily represent the position of my current, or any previous, employers SlideShare: Twitter: @eric_tachibana Linkedin: stay up to date with my future slideshare posts SHARE THIS DECK & FOLLOW ME