Archive for March, 2014

We Believe In 8 Mentoring "Truths"

Posted on: March 26th, 2014 by Management Mentors presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

We Believe In 8 Mentoring "Truths"

  1. Mentoring is a customizable solution. Choose from a variety of models and tweak the model even further to match your organization's goals.
  2. Mentoring doesn't happen only once in a person's life. If we're lucky, we're constantly being mentored and mentoring others, both formally and informally.
  3. Mentoring can happen outside of work. Some people point to the fact that certain types of companies, like busy startups, don't have the bandwidth to provide formal mentoring programs. Fair enough. But you can still find and work with a mentor outside of the workplace. There's no "rule" saying it has to be someone from the office.
  4. Yes, you can have more than one mentor at the same time. We're finding this is especially important for the Millennial generation (something we'll be talking about in a forthcoming white paper). Creating a mentoring network is perfectly acceptable. (Why wouldn't it be?)
  5. Mentoring, when done effectively, will be a transformative experience for the mentoree. This hasn't changed, nor do we think it ever will.
  6. Mentors often get just as much out of the mentoring relationship as the mentoree. Again, this hasn't changed either, and we don't think it ever will.
  7. It is possible to have an enriching mentoring relationship through new media, like Skype. At Management Mentors, we're big proponents of "face time." We believe people need to be present (physically, ideally) in order to experience the important nuances of the "unspoken" and nonverbal gestures. But we also know that in this global world in which we live, sometimes getting two people together in the same room isn't always feasible. But technology, like Skype, does make it possible to have face time. We're excited to think where we'll be in another quarter century…maybe we'll be able to beam people up for a meeting?
  8. Yes, the way we mentor today will be different from the way we mentor in 25, 50, and 100 years. We'll still be mentoring though, mark our words.

Business mentoring: are you ready to be mentored?

Posted on: March 21st, 2014 by Management Mentors presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

Business mentoring: are you ready to be mentored?

Almost everyone thinks that they can use a mentor at some point in their career.  Although this may be true, are you ready to be mentored?  Being a mentoree means putting in the commitment necessary toward establishing and maintaining a mentoring relationship and also having some sense of focus in terms of what areas you want to develop both professionally and personally.

Here are a few questions you may want to ponder in assessing whether you're ready to be mentored:

Q: How often do you seek out challenges that may be risky but that will help you grow?

Being willing to take risks is a necessary component when being mentored.  Your mentor should be assisting you to grow in ways that may be scary at first, but you have to be willing to make the effort in order to grow.

Q: How easy it is for you to set goals for yourself either in your professional or in your personal life?

When approaching someone to be your mentor or having a mentor assigned to you through a mentoring program at work, you need to come to the table with some vision of what you wish to accomplish. It's ok if it's not thoroughly thought out—as a mentor can assist in helping you to focus—but there should be a starting point that you bring to the table as a basis for a conversation. It is not your mentor's responsibility to figure out how you should develop.  That responsibility remains with you.

Q: How often do you complete assigned tasks on time?

We are all bombarded with tasks, deadlines, and interruptions on a daily basis.  We can easily let some things slip or defer to a later date. This can have an impact on mentoring when we don't complete agreed upon activities or cancel sessions frequently. We have a tendency to do this because we expect our mentors to "understand" and to be accommodating. This is a mistake! You have to bring a real commitment to being mentored and this is shown by completing the work to be done and by meeting on a regular basis as agreed. 

business mentoring relationship

Why We Use The Term ‘Mentoree’

Posted on: March 12th, 2014 by Management Mentors presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

Recently, a peruser of our website contacted our President, Rene Petrin, to point out that we use the term 'mentoree' when in fact, he said, "the correct term is 'mentee.'"

Rene's response was this: "There is nothing that prevents anyone from being creative. I decided to use a word that specifies how my approach to mentoring is slightly different from others."

The term 'mentoree' illustrates that Rene's approach to mentoring is different from the status quo. Creative? Yes. Forward thinking? We think so.

This exchange prompted us to think about other words that were created (recently and not so recently) and have become part of not only main stream street language, but also bonafide, new words in the Oxford English dictionary.

Have you ever thought about where these words came from? Let's check out some cool examples together. Oh, and don't be shy. If you haven't heard these words, you can look up their definitions in the Oxford English Dictionary—which has a monthly and an annual list of "new words" as well as blog posts dedicated to new word entries. 

Popular street language







Maxxionista (TJ Maxx's spin on fashionista)

Chandelier earrings

Double denim

Pixie cut



Words Authors Invented

Nerd-Dr. Seuss

Tween-J.R.R. Tolkien

Alligator-William Shakespeare

Chortle-Lewis Carroll

Yahoo-Jonathan Swift

Serendipity-Horace Walpole

Utopia-Sir Thomas More

Gargantuan-Francois Rabelais

Buzzwords that helped techie's to gain notoriety:


Web 2.0

Inbound Marketing


Oxford Dictionaries Online says:

Angus Stevenson of Oxford Dictionaries Online said: “New words, senses, and phrases are added to Oxford Dictionaries Online when we have gathered enough independent evidence from a range of sources to be confident that they have widespread currency in English. Publishing online allows us to make the results of our research available more quickly than ever before. Each month, we add about 150 million words to our corpus database of English usage examples collected from sources around the world. We use this database to track and verify new and emerging words and senses on a daily basis. On average, we add approximately 1,000 new entries to Oxford Dictionaries Online every year, and this quarter’s update highlights some fascinating developments in the English language. Portmanteau words, or blends of words, such as phablet and jorts, remain popular, as do abbreviations, seen in new entries such as srsly and apols.”

So, hey, maybe if we can get enough folks to start referring to the term 'mentoree' we can get it added to the Oxford Dictionaries' new word entry list!

Light-Hearted Example:

Jeanne said "When my kids were young, I was always rushing them 'Come on, come on, come on…' One day my daughter, who couldn't have been 3, sat down and said, "Mommy, I'm COMEONING." Best word ever to tell me she was doing her best to keep up, but I needed to slow down. Made-up word, sure, but it expressed exactly what she meant."

Key Take-Away:

How About You?

7 Big Payoffs from Mentoring Training

Posted on: March 5th, 2014 by Mentoring Matters Blog presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

Why should you invest in mentoring training? The biggest reason is that when it comes right down to it, most people are unprepared or underprepared for their mentoring roles. Without competency and comfort in the role, it is hard to feel confident and to be good at mentoring.building_text_11423

There are some pretty powerful payoffs for mentoring training.

1. Mentoring training builds more confident and competent mentors and mentees.

2. Mentoring training promotes participant readiness by getting everyone on the same page.

3. Mentoring training sets a standard for mentoring practice.

4. Mentoring training clarifies assumptions about mentoring and communicates expectations.

5. Mentoring training provides guidelines for mentoring success.

6. Mentoring training provides an opportunity to develop and practice mentoring skills

7. Mentoring training skills are easily transferable to other types of workplace relationships.