Mentoring

To anyone who wants to gain a foundation in mentoring, and managers and team leaders who want to develop or refine their mentoring skills.

  EVALUATING & ENDING  

  THE MENTORING PROGRAM  

The mentor guide

Mentoring at Lean4U.net
When designing a mentoring program, you need to carefully consider the benefits you hope to achieve from it.

 

  • Then in order to measure whether the program has achieved these benefits, you must put in place appropriate measurement and evaluation processes.

  • The best way to assess a mentoring program's effectiveness is to measure it on an ongoing basis – this is known as formative evaluation. It's also important to assess your program at the end, or after important milestones are reached – give it what's called a summative evaluation.

 

  • To understand the difference between formative and summative evaluation, think of formative as smaller, ongoing measurements and summative as more formal, final measurements. Self-assessments are used regularly to provide formative evaluations of mentors' performance.

  • There are a number of key interpersonal skills that mentors should have. Mentors may possess some of these naturally, and others can be built upon and honed over time.

1. Careful Listening

Effective mentors listen carefully to their mentees and ask appropriate questions to check how they're feeling about the process and their own progress.

2. Meaningful Feedback

Effective Mentors also give meaningful feedback – that is, honest feedback about what their mentees do well and what needs improvement. Mentors aim to provide constructive feedback that links achievements to the outcomes the mentor and mentee have set together.

Mentors also set goals and expectations that are agreed on by both parties as being appropriate to the mentees' current stage of development. They guide and challenge mentees to move forward in achieving their overall objectives.

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4. Focus on relationship building

Effective mentors focus on relationship building to create an atmosphere where mentees feel supported and understood but don't become dependent. They are accessible to their mentees.

5. Mentors employ a variety of problem-solving and conflict-resolution techniques

When necessary, good mentors employ a variety of problem-solving and conflict-resolution techniques in order to maintain positive relationships. They'll be open to creative solutions to problems or disagreements that suit each situation. Analytical thinking comes into play here as well – this helps the mentor be objective and find the best solution.

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Setting self-improvement goals

No matter how skilled a mentor you are, a mentoring relationship will need time to settle and develop naturally, while both participants acclimatize to each other.

 

  • Monitoring helps demonstrate how the relationship is growing and evolving over time. Mentor self-assessments are one of the most effective ways to ensure a mentoring program works effectively. It's important that mentors and mentees regularly review what's happening.

 

  • They should discuss their mentoring meetings, the relationship, and what's being learned regularly. Self-assessment of your mentoring skills enables you to see how well you're performing as a mentor. A large part of the learning curve for the mentor occurs in closing the gap between where the mentee is now and where they are at different stages of the process.

  • Self-assessments help mentors to select which path is best for them. They help to enhance mentoring relationships as mentors become more adept at empathizing with their mentees and more aware of themselves and their own skill level.

Self-assessment on its own isn't enough: Mentors and mentees should meet regularly to assess the relationship using results of the self assessment. From there, they can review strengths and weaknesses of the relationship.

  • By discussing your relationship, often you get a better feel for how you're both progressing. The results of your self-assessment should be linked directly to your mentoring strategy. First, use the results to set goals for self-improvement. From this you can create a mentoring development plan.

 

Finally, you can start to encourage improvement through action.

 

The first step you can take is to explore how to set appropriate goals for self-improvement. To do this, try to identify ways you can enhance mentoring skills. Self-assessments provide the basis for developing your goals and expectations. Linking your areas of weakness to your goals is the key to a practical plan for improvement.

Creating a mentoring plan

 

The second step is to create your mentoring plan by aligning goals to the different mentoring skills. Create a document with three columns. And enter certain details in each:In the first column, list the areas you wish to improve on for each mentoring skill.

  • These areas will emerge from your self-assessment results.

  • In the second column, enter the strategies you intend to use to address each problem.

  • Use the third column to pose questions that will enable you to realize your development goals.

Improving through action

 

The final and most important step to developing your mentoring plan is to bring about improvement through action. The key to this stage is focusing your thinking by asking yourself pointed questions about your plan and more general questions about your mentoring style.

  • Mentors can ask themselves a range of questions to help them reflect on their skills and record them in a journal. Or they can be more general questions about overall mentoring style.

  • Before you can assess yourself as a mentor, you need to understand the skills required to be a successful mentor.

There are six skills that effective mentors often share:

  1. listening and asking questions;

  2. giving meaningful feedback;

  3. setting goals and expectations;

  4. building relationships;

  5. problem solving and conflict resolution; and

  6. advocacy.

TAKE AWAYS

You can create your own self-assessment using relevant questions to test each skill. You can then analyze your self-assessment results to enhance your mentoring skills and relationships.

 

There are three steps to using your results for this analysis:

  1. Set goals and expectations for yourself,

  2. Create a mentoring plan, and

  3. Improve through action