Sunday, May 23, 2010

Notes from the Mentoring Conference call this past week

This past week, a good friend of mine, Ron Hadley, spoke on Mentoring on the PMlessonsLearned.com conference call I host.
The presentation is available at PMlessonsLearned.com (see the link for "Files and Presentations"). The recording is now available for the next few weeks by phone (for the phone number and access code for the phone recording see details on top left of PMlessonsLearned.com - It will be available until the next conference call on June 3rd) and the MP3 and other recordings will be available on-line in the next few weeks (see the link for archives on the website at PMlessonsLearned.com).

Here are my notes from the call:
  • With Mentoring, go slow before you go fast
  • Many people concentrate on "Who" to be mentored by before they concentrate on "What" to be mentored about. Take the time to plan the "What" first. Start with the goal in mind.
  • Mentoring is a way to develop, so what are you trying to develop?
  • Discuss strategies that are outside your comfort zone to be put into practice before the next meeting. This will push you to grow.
  • An important value of mentoring: Mentoring builds relationships which works at the need to build "purpose at work" which builds retention of your best people.
  • Start with a one year commitment, you can always keep going if it works well. This will set a goal and it isn't too long to commit to.
  • Ron suggests that it's best to find someone in your company/organization but from another department. This will help you to learn to navigate your organization.
  • Ron recommends that you make an agreement at the start of the mentoring.
  • Types of mentoring: one on one or group mentoring. Group mentoring is starting to grow in use. The group presents and issue, brainstorms solutions and then at the meeting the following month they discuss how they handled it.
  • It is best to have written goals for mentoring
  • What should your mentoring work on? Try to get a 360 degree assessment. If you can't get one at work, then ask people what you should work on.
  • Ron said one of the best lessons he learned from his mentor was that he was always bringing his lunch and eating alone, but the mentor told him he should never eat lunch alone. (note: I (Henry) suggest the book "Never Eat Alone" by Keith Ferrazzi)
  • When asked what the best format is for a meeting with your mentor, Ron suggested: Review the progress of the last meeting's action items and discuss what needs to be done to move forward (discuss next steps and action items) for the next meeting. Ron suggests that mentoring meetings should be once a month and should last about 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • Where to find a mentor? Ask at work (ask your manager first), church, and/or other organizations you belong to (PMlessonsLearned.com or your local PMI Chapter for example)
I hope you think about getting a mentor!

1 comment:

Henry said...

Ideas for having multiple mentors: 1) Mentor for your current position, 2) Mentor for the position you are setting as a goal, 3) Mentor in a hobby you are pursuing. The mentor can provide help in learning the ropes, understand the work culture, guide you through challenges, help you with networking, help you see the big picture, and/or help you set goals