Archive for October, 2013


Posted on: October 30th, 2013 by Management Mentors presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments


One of the mentoring models that rarely gets discussed is group mentoring.  It's probably the least used model but it does have its benefits. 

Some of the benefits of group mentoring are:

  • In group mentoring, support comes not only from the Mentoring Group Leader (MGL) but also from peers within the group
  • Provides for greater exposure to multiple levels of expertise and knowledge as each participant brings their own competencies to the group that can be shared
  • Diversity within the group brings a variety of perspective to issues. It also brings greater understanding and awareness of diversity in general as it impacts one's success (or lack thereof) in the workplace
  • Allows for more mentorees to benefit from participating in mentoring, especially when there are fewer mentors available

  However, there are also some disadvantages to group mentoring:

  • Each member has different needs that must be balanced against the overall group needs
  • Does not offer the personal relationship that is the hallmark of a one-to-one mentoring relationship
  • Scheduling multiple individuals to attend a meeting on a regular basis can be a challenge
  • The elements of confidentiality and safety may not be achieved to the level possible in a one-to-one relationship
  • Competition within the group can disrupt the success of the group
  • Mentors need to understand and be comfortable with group dynamics and process

I have found that combining group mentoring with a traditional one-to-one program minimizes the disadvantages of group mentoring.  For example, you might have a traditional program but create a group mentoring process whereby very senior people come to the group and share their strategic vision, etc.  You might have one senior person lead the group for one or several sessions or you might have a senior person lead the group for the entire 6-12 month period of time.  This combination avoids the politics involved when very senior people mentor and gives all mentorees equal access to those same people.

How Can Your Company Motivate Mentors?

Posted on: October 22nd, 2013 by News presented by How to Mentor No Comments

mentoringThe biggest challenge for most mentoring programs is to get a sufficient number of mentors involved. To motivate mentors, there are two important factors your company should emphasize:

  1. Specify the value of participation to the mentor
  2. Outline the commitment mentoring would require

So let’s talk about the first challenge to motivate mentors:

Value to the mentor.

Over the many years we’ve been doing mentoring, mentors report that they are frequently asked “why do you to this?”.

Here are some of the comments mentors have reported to us:

“I want to give back because someone helped me.”
“I need an ally in the organization.”
“I have learned better listening skills and had a chance to practice those skills.”
“I’ve had a chance to rediscover exactly how much valuable expertise I have that I had forgotten about.”
“I got valuable feedback from my mentee about my own skill sets and communication skills.”

Important to note: most mentors who mentor in a formal program will do it again as a result of their experience with mentoring.

The second challenge for motivating mentors?


Many people are unclear about what type of time commitment mentoring involves. It is important to specify what the commitment is so that potential mentors can make an informed decision about whether or not they can partake in a mentoring program.

Time involved: The gold standard is to meet every other week for 60-90 minutes. These meetings can be either face to face or via Skype, video conferencing, etc.  That means the pair will have 24 sessions in a year (most programs last one year.)

Training*: If you have a mentoring program manager (MPM), the MPM should offer training for both mentors and mentorees. This should alleviate any anxiety potential mentors may have over “what will we discuss.”

*If your program does not have a training component, Management Mentors offers a terrific online mentoring training course. Click on the button below for more information.*

Now that you’ve specified the value and the time commitment involved in mentoring, be sure to personally invite folks to take part in your company’s mentoring program. This can be done face to face or via invitation.

Have you ever been asked to be a mentor? What kinds of questions did you ask before deciding whether or not to participate?

Image Credit: HubSpot

Roll Up Your Sleeves

Posted on: October 16th, 2013 by Mentoring Matters Blog presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

Rolling up his sleevesYou’ve created a mentoring agreement with your mentoring partner and your work plan is in place. Now it is time to roll up your sleeves and get to work, and make the most of your mentoring relationship.

If you are a mentor, it means providing support to your mentees as they work on their goals, challenging them to get out of their comfort zone and try new approaches, and helping them see new possibilities for themselves as they pursue achievement of their goals.

If you are a mentee, you will want to let your mentor know the kind of support you need to be successful. Identify ways your mentor can challenge you to stretch and reach your goals. Think about what your mentor can do to help you envision and move towards your desired future.

We’ve asked dozens of mentors and mentees about what works for them. Here is a list of strategies mentors have used successfully.


  • Set up networking opportunities
  • Establish intermediate goals and reward their achievement
  • Share personal examples of successes and failures that match the situation under discussion
  • Share lessons learned and best practices
  • Provide positive feedback
  • Offer guidance and assistance in executing or resolving a challenging issue
  • Be empathetic and show sincere concern



  • Ask probing questions to stimulate your mentee’s thinking
  • Help mentee discover their own answers rather than give them yours
  • Encourage specific activities that focus on a goal area of improvement (external assignments, challenging internal rotations or projects)
  • Suggest relevant articles and books to read
  • Enhance mentee’s exposure through presentations and briefings to leadership
  • Teach mentee a new skill or identify courses/training opportunities to improve skills
  • Encourage continued formal education
  • Offer feedback when results fail to measure up to expectations



  • Create opportunities that demonstrate new knowledge and skills
  • Develop specific plan/timeline with intermediate goals
  • Arrange for interactions with senior leaders when possible
  • Monitor and celebrate progress
  • Encourage mentee to get feedback from peers, supervisors and senior leaders


Takeaway: Review these three lists with your mentoring partner, discuss additional options and get to work!


7 Ways Mentoring Can Help Career Development

Posted on: October 1st, 2013 by Management Mentors presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

7 Ways Mentoring Can Help Career Development

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career resized 600Are you ready to blast into the next phase in your career? Did you know that partaking in a mentoring relationship can help your career development? It can!

Here are 7 major benefits of mentoring:

  • Gaining from your mentor’s expertise.
  • Receiving critical feedback in key areas, such as communications, interpersonal relationships, technical abilities, change management, and leadership skills.
  • Developing a sharper focus on what you need to grow professionally within your organization or elsewhere.
  • Learning specific skills and knowledge that are relevant to professional and personal goals.
  • Networking with a more influential employee.
  • Gaining knowledge about your organization’s culture and unspoken rules that can be critical for success and; therefore, adapting more quickly to your organization’s culture.
  • Having a friendly ear with which to share frustrations as well as successes.

business mentoring

Image Credit: © Nilikha |