Planning for Success: This is Why Creating Your Mentoring Plan is ImportantMentoring Best Practices
It is a fact that even the most simple goals are challenging to achieve without a plan of action. But, on the other hand, setting goals is the easy part; as a mentor, your role is to help your mentees realize their unique path to success. They're counting on you, your talents, and your knowledge to guide them through the process of determining where to begin, what actions to take, and which efforts will pay off the most.
If you're feeling uncertain about creating a plan, don't be. You're the right person for the job. You've got experience. You've been there, and you know how to get from there to where you are now. You know what you'd do if you had the chance to go back and do it again. Your experience and lessons learned are the elements you build into your mentoring plan. In this way, mentoring is a bit like parenting: you get the opportunity to guide another person away from the mistakes you made and towards the advantages you never had.
Creating a mentoring plan is a highly individualized process. First, you'll have to get to know your mentee so that you can devise a plan that encourages the strengths and challenges their weaknesses. Building a strict schedule can be a decisive step in developing a solid path to success for more formal mentorships.
Your mentee could be any person. They might be very good at meeting deadlines, or they may never have made it to a meeting on time in their lives. Whatever their character, your goal is the same: to help them build integrity, teach them the importance of respecting another's time, and show them the advantage of being prepared. A sturdy schedule serves as the backbone of an effective mentoring relationship.
Beyond a robust schedule, your mentoring plan should contain a few additional elements:
- A set of stages to encourage progress and carry you and your mentor through the relationship;
- Important details, like where, when, and how often meetings will take place, the topic for discussion, and which goals to set;
- Regular evaluations to determine whether or not the mentorship is meeting expectations;
- Everyday tasks and exercises designed to build on a mentee's skill-set, increase their confidence, and challenge them;
- A system of rewards or recognition that highlights each time your mentee has a big win;
- And finally, a clear timeline for completing the mentorship.
As you take on new mentees and get to know their differences and preferences, you'll undoubtedly incorporate new elements into your mentoring plans. The important thing is to create a plan that reinforces the relationship and has the mentee's goals as its primary cause.
Have you had success with a mentoring plan? What are some of the elements that worked best for you? Contact MentorCloud to share some of your best practices with us, or share your ideas with us on Facebook or Twitter.
If this post resonated with you, check with your organization to see whether you are part of the MentorCloud network. If not, sign up for a demo here! Our vision is to create a mentoring planet in which true equality is achieved, and hard work is rewarded, but it's only possible with your participation.