Business Mentoring Insights

  • Effective Mentoring Skills

    We get lots of questions from mentors, mentorees, and mentoring program managers on what they need to do in order to have a successful mentoring relationship and an overall successful program. So we thought we'd devote this month's newsletter, Mentoring Minute, to 5 effective mentoring skills. It's important to note that you won't master these skills overnight. In fact, some of these skills are ones we'll all be working on throughout our lives. That said, we've found that the mentors and mentorees who embrace these skills sooner rather than later are the ones who experience the most success in their mentoring relationship. Read more

    Fri, Mar, 29, 2013

  • What to Talk About In A Mentoring Relationship

    First quarter is a common time for many of our clients to launch new mentoring programs. So we thought we'd focus our latest newsletter on something we know mentorees often struggle with: what should they talk about with their mentors?  There are basically two types of discussions to have: Conversations about the nature of the mentoring relationship and conversations around the mentoree's career. Feel free to check out our latest newsletter, What to Talk About In Your Business Mentoring Relationships, where we dig deeper into each one. Read more

    Mon, Mar, 18, 2013

  • The Ideal Mentor Profile for a Successful Mentoring Relationship

    "A mentor oversees the career and development of another person (mentoree)...through teaching, counseling, providing psychological support, protecting and, at times, promoting or sponsoring.”—Michael Zey Read more

    Wed, Mar, 13, 2013

  • Three Key Skills of an Executive Mentor

      Beyond creating a trusting relationship with the mentee, there are three key skills an Executive Mentor should have.   1. Communicating instead of lecturing.    Yes, executive mentors typically have a lot of experience and knowledge to share, but it should be done based upon the mentee's expressed need. If a mentor is doing more speaking than the mentee during meetings, then s/he is really not communicating. Read more

    Mon, Mar, 11, 2013

  • 3 Mentoring Skills ALL Good Mentors Have!

    All mentors are unique in the skills they bring to mentoring.  But there are 3 that are the most critical in being an effective mentor. 1.  Be a good listener. This means not just listening to the words but to the whole communication: body language, tone of voice, gestures, etc. Many mentorees feel that when engaged in a mentoring session it is the only time where they get to speak and be heard. Being a good listener invites the person to share within a safe space.   2.  Be a good facilitator and not a manager. Mentoring is a partnership between the mentor and mentoree not an employment relationship. It is sometimes difficult for mentors to step back and not take control of a situation as they feel by doing so they could solve the mentoree's problem. But this does not empower the mentoree. Facilitating involves sharing ideas, providing resources and offering sage advice when appropriate but not solving problems for the mentoree. "How do I assist my mentoree to gain what s/he needs to resolve the issue for themselves?"--that's the mantra of a good mentor. Read more

    Tue, Mar, 05, 2013

  • Tips on Mentor and Mentee's Communication Style

    Most of us use different styles of communication. We'll communicate differently with our kids than we would with our employers. Often, our communication style depends upon the situation itself--what style will work best under these circumstances? The same holds true in mentoring relationships. Understanding different communication styles (and when to use them) will make for a more effective and enjoyable relationship. Below, we address four styles--what they are, when to use them, and things to keep in mind. Read more

    Wed, Feb, 13, 2013

  • Why Use Mentoring Experts to Create a Mentoring Program

    Creating a structured mentoring program requires a solid understanding of mentoring dynamics. Read more

    Mon, Feb, 11, 2013

  • Corporate Mentoring Communication Tips

    In those early meetings between mentors and mentorees, it can feel a little awkward -- for both parties -- as each person learns how to communicate with the other. One of the goals of these meetings is to have enriching discussions, so we thought we'd offer four communication tips that will help move the conversations forward into enrichment territory. The beauty of these tips is that you can use them in most relationships, not just mentoring. 1. Ask open-ended questions. The way to launch good discussions is by asking open-ended questions instead of yes/no questions. Yes/No: "Are you happy in your position?" Open-ended: What three things do you like best about your current position? Notice how the open-ended question will lead into other open-ended questions: What are the biggest challenges you're facing in your position? What are your goals over the next 12 months? 2. Practice mirroring. This is an important technique in communication since it helps avoid misinterpretations. When you "mirror" what someone says, you're repeating it back to the person as you understand it. So if you're a mentoree and your mentor is making a suggestion about how to handle a particular challenge you're facing, you'd start by saying, "So it sounds like you're recommending that I do X. Does that sound right?" This technique works if you're the mentor as well. "It sounds like the biggest challenge you're facing is X. Does that sound right?" By framing the question this way, it allows the speaker to evaluate whether you understood his/her message -- and to offer clarification in case there was a misunderstanding. 3. Use verbal nodding. In addition to nonverbal gestures (e.g. making eye contact, nodding your head), verbal nodding also reinforces the fact that you're listening and following along in the conversation. Verbal nodding includes phrases like "Right" or "Yes" or "Mm" or "What happened next?" 4. Provide validations. When people are talking about things that are important to them -- such as their work life and careers -- they want to be heard. In other words, they want the person who is listening to know how important the topic is to the speaker. As the listener, the way to show you "get this" is by providing validation. For example, if your mentoree is discussing a difficult incident that happened over the last week, you might respond by saying, "Wow. That sounds like it was really hard." And then follow up with an open-ended question, such as "How did you feel about it the next day?" or "Now that you've had time to think about it, what would you have done differently?" The validation shows that you heard the speaker and acknowledged his or her feelings. The follow-up question moves the discussion forward. Give these tips a try the next time you get together with your mentor/mentoree (or with a friend/family member) and see how it helps foster discussion. Read more

    Fri, Feb, 01, 2013