Archive for June, 2014

What is involved in implementing a mentoring program?

Posted on: June 25th, 2014 by Management Mentors presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

mentoring softwareWhen licensing an online mentoring system, there will be an implementation process. This process could potentially be lengthy and complicated depending on the complexity of the program AND depending on the vendor you choose. In our experience, however, the process should be simple and brief.

For Management Mentors’ online mentoring software, MentoringComplete, two things need to happen to implement a mentoring program:

1.)  Using a client data sheet, the client provides all the information necessary to create their mentoring system. This can take a few days to up to a week or two.

2.)  We then orient the Mentoring Program Manager on how to use the system to edit and adapt two items:

  • The program descriptor which describes their program; and
  • The client’s matching form

*These two steps take us no more than 24-48 hours.

One question that comes up often is "What is IT’s involvement in implementation?"

In our case, very little. The client simply has to approve access to our website from the company’s servers and allow emails to come from support into the company’s servers. 

Depending on the turn around time by the client, the process for implementing our system can be as quick as 1-2 weeks. The client can be ready to actually launch the program within 1-2 weeks!

Finding a mentor on social media

Posted on: June 18th, 2014 by Mentoring Matters Blog presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

Social Mentor

Whether you’re a mentor or a mentee, social media is a fantastic tool to amplify your voice and help you join communities. It provides you with the tools to reach out to those who inspire you to develop your career. Luckily, there are many social tools to help you along the way. Let’s look at the benefits of using social media as a mentor or mentee.

You could tweet a potential mentor on Twitter or send them a message on LinkedIn. But, convincing someone you’ve never met to be your mentor can be tricky. It’s critical that you know as much as possible about your prospective mentor before you reach out. Fortunately, researching is easy.

On Twitter, you can identify possible mentors by monitoring trending hashtags or creating lists of influential people. And, on LinkedIn, you can join industry-specific groups and build relationships with people you find inspiring.

Depending on the etiquette of the platform, reaching out to your potential mentor could be easy. On Twitter, it’s as simple as a follow. After you follow your potential mentor, make sure to add their handle to a list so that you can easily find and interact with their content.

On LinkedIn, it’s challenging. You don’t want your budding mentor to see you as spam, so be genuine and sincere. Reach out to them via InMail before you send an invitation to connect. Remember, LinkedIn is a professional platform — avoid the cat videos and silly memes.

When you interact on social media, be yourself. Being honest with potential mentors is the key to building rewarding professional relationships. In our digital world, it’s easy to connect and build professional relationships with people in any industry.

Business Mentoring: Are You Ready to Mentor?

Posted on: June 11th, 2014 by Management Mentors presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

Mentoring is the generous giving of a person's time, knowledge and support to a mentoree.  Many of us volunteer to mentor or, if asked, are ready to answer, "yes.”  It is this generosity that makes mentoring a powerful experience for mentorees.  But being asked to serve and being willing to serve doesn't necessarily mean that you are ready to serve.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself in assessing if you're ready to mentor:

Q: How easy is it for you to sit with someone and listen to their challenges without taking control of the situation?

One of the key skills a mentor needs to have is to be able to refrain from managing the mentoree. It is critical to empower the mentoree to think for themselves and make decisions that are best for him/her. The temptation to resolve an issue quickly by providing too much advice or performing the task of solving the problem instead of letting the mentoree do so is ever present in mentoring. What can be helpful in avoiding this temptation is for a mentor to think of him/herself as "facilitating the development of the mentoree.”  If you facilitate, you partner with the other person, and thus avoid controlling the relationship.

Q: How easy is it for you to share some of your mistakes with others to assist them in avoiding the same mistakes?

A mentoring relationship develops trust between both partners. This element of trust allows for a mutual dialogue based upon honesty and respect. One of the ways to build trust quickly is to be willing to share the mistakes that a mentor has made over time and what lessons they learned as a result. When being vulnerable in this way, it lets the mentoree know that you trust them with this information and opens the door for them to do the same. Without this kind of sharing, the relationship may remain more polite and professional but without the depth possible in creating a true mentoring relationship. Q: In general conversations, how often are you the listener instead of the talker? Listening is one of the most important skills a mentor should have. Having good listening skills provides several advantages: (1) It allows the mentoree to do most of the talking and the person doing most of the talking is doing most of the work. (2) It allows you to avoid the temptation to take control of the relationship. (3) It allows the mentoree to be responsible for arriving at the solutions that will work best for them.   business mentoringIf you're going to mentor, review your most recent conversations with others and assess whether you have a pattern for speaking more often than not. It will be important to know this and to make a conscious effort to listen more if you are going to be a mentor.   These questions and more are part of our new eBook: Mentoring Readiness: Instrument for Mentors. If you are interested in learning more, click the image to the right. You will be directed to Management Mentors' ebook page on Amazon. Be sure to scroll down to find this eBook.          

Image Credit: © Zigf | Dreamstime.com

Consulting and mentoring software

Posted on: June 4th, 2014 by Management Mentors presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

When looking at an online mentoring system, I would caution prospective buyers to pay attention to consulting costs as part of the package. If the software for a mentoring program is comprehensive, then there should be little need for a lot of consulting time on the part of the vendor. The system you are looking at should have all the components already created and should allow you to edit the content to suit your needs.

As a result, you should not need to pay for additional consulting fees when you license the product to create and manage your program. What your contract should include is all the capabilities of the software, tech support and some small additional time for consulting if needed.

If additional consulting is twice the cost of the software, consider finding another vendor.