Archive for May, 2014

How To Make Your Company A Better Place To Work with Mentoring

Posted on: May 28th, 2014 by Management Mentors presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

Carrie Kerpen recently wrote an article for titled “3 Simple Ways to Vastly Improve Your Company Culture: How to Be a Great Boss, Even During the Tough Times.”

Kerpen’s 3 simple ways:

1. Mistakes Happen, But Learning Does Too

Kerpen is basically saying here that people make mistakes, but sometimes not terminating an employee for a mistake and instead giving them another chance makes them an even more loyal employee.

2. No Sour Grapes

If an employee finds another position somewhere else, think about the way your reaction effects the employees who have stayed. A negative reaction is very telling and leaves a sour taste in everyone’s mouth.

3. Soar With Your Strengths

Kerpen’s interpretation here is powerful. Rather than trying to get your employee’s to improve their weaknesses, allow them to “soar” with their strengths. Give them tasks, roles, and positions that allow them to play up to those strengths. Everyone wins.

We would add to Kerpen’s list:

4. Invest in your employees’ professional future with a corporate mentoring program.

A corporate mentoring program tells your employees “We care about you. We care about your professional and personal development and would like to invest in you, because you matter!”

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Group Mentoring: Who will fill these seats?

Posted on: May 21st, 2014 by Mentoring Matters Blog presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

More and more businesses and organizations are turning to group mentoring to enhance the growth and development of their employees and accelerate organizational learning. Why is there so much interest in group mentoring?

SeatsGroup Mentoring. . . .

  • Leverages the experience and expertise in an organization
  • Provides an opportunity to build and strengthen relationships across, down and through the organization
  • Promotes diversity and inclusion
  • Offers mentors and mentees an opportunity to expand knowledge
  • Exposes participants to multiple levels of expertise and organizational knowledge
  • Creates shared understanding and alignment
  • Maximizes time availability of qualified mentors and participants
  • Creates a more efficient and scalable way to promote learning and development
  • Complements and enhances one on one mentoring

Mentoring groups are structured in multiple ways. The possibilities are unlimited, from peer-to-peer, leader-led, virtual, nested configurations, to DIY groups . . . and the list goes on. The reasons you articulate for initiating group mentoring will drive the composition and structure of your mentoring groups.

Who will fill these seats in your organization? In which seat will you be sitting?

Common Mistakes Made By New Mentors

Posted on: May 14th, 2014 by Management Mentors presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

Mentors are people who are generous at heart and have the best interests of the mentoree when working with them. Even so, new mentors can sometimes make inadvertent mistakes that can pose a problem now or in the future for the mentoring relationship.

Here are a few common mistakes made by new mentors to be aware of:

1. You are eager to provide solutions to your mentoree. With your wealth of experience and knowledge, you may often have the quick solution to your mentoree’s issue. But wait!

The real value of a mentor is not to provide the answers but to help your mentoree find the answers that work best for them. Tweet this!

It’s the old adage about the difference between feeding and teaching someone to feed themselves. So as a new mentor, learn how to ask open ended questions: who, what, when, where and why have always served to allow a mentoree to uncover the real issues that affect their success in a given situation. So think of yourself as a poser of questions as opposed to the problem solver.


2.  You take on too much responsibility for the mentoree.  You are excited about being a new mentor and want to help as much as possible—even going beyond the call of duty.  You meet more often than you probably should. You do extensive research before each meeting. You feel responsible for your mentoree’s success. Be careful! Your enthusiasm could overwhelm your mentoree and/or they could welcome all of this attention at the cost of abrogating their responsibility to drive this relationship. Remember, your mentoree’s success is due to their own commitment to grow and do the things necessary to grow. Your role is simply to assist in that process.


3.  You’re really coaching instead of mentoring. One of the key success elements in mentoring is the trust built over time between the mentor and mentoree. This involves being able to share one’s vulnerable spots and to engage in personal conversations that go beyond the immediate work environment. Sometimes new mentors are uncomfortable with sharing the personal, preferring instead to stay on a level of discussing competencies and how to accomplish them and avoiding the more critical part that hinders their ability to achieve their goals. Often, the true reason for lack of success on any given issue is personal: one’s lack of self-confidence, how one communicates, how one is perceived by others.  This is much more personal than discussing a financial skill or how to generate a sales report. Once you’ve been meeting with your mentoree for a while, ask yourself: “how well am I getting to know the real person in front of me so that I can better understand what real issues impact their success?” If you don’t know, then it’s time to ask. It’s not difficult just say:  “I’d like to know and understand better about what really hinders you in your interactions with others.  Would you be willing to share some of that with me?” If you open the door, the mentoree will enter.


For more great information on business mentoring relationships, check out our free white papers below:

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What if this happened to you? A lesson in the value of mentoring

Posted on: May 7th, 2014 by Management Mentors presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

value of mentoringWhat if this happened to you?

You walked into your boss’s office today and he informed you that the company is downsizing and your position is being eliminated.  You get your severance package which includes the services of an outplacement firm and now you go home to tell your spouse, deal with the anxieties of being unemployed and looking for a new job. You don’t feel you can talk to anyone because you also feel that having been “deselected” (the new term for being fired or laid off) was somehow your fault.  You can now look forward to a long period of job hunting and a new job at possibly lower pay. 

It could be different.  This is how.

You walk into your boss’s office and he informs you that the company is downsizing and your job is being eliminated.  You respond that you’re not surprised and have been anticipating it for some time and, in fact, have been campaigning actively for a new opportunity.  You express your thanks to your current boss for having had the opportunity to work for the company.  You review the severance package which seems in order and are now ready to move on. Before leaving your office, you make a call to your mentor.  He has been your mentor for several years and together you have been strategizing on finding another opportunity in anticipation of this moment.  You may not have a job but you already have several potential interviews as a result of contacts made through your mentor along with ideas he has given you on how to market yourself.  You agree to meet this evening to discuss how this latest development will impact your current campaign. It will give you an opportunity to get support from someone who has been with you through the ups and downs of a corporate career.  You may not have a job today but you have an ally who will be there for you and will smooth your transition to another position. 

Mentoring is a valuable resource not only for your company, but also for each individual partaking in a business mentoring program. Want to learn more? Check out our free resources below:

Image Credit: © Miszaqq |