Mentoring

Recently I took a look at mentoring opportunites available to me and found there were none easily available. I didn’t know who would make a good mentor, what I should look for, how I should approach a possible mentor. Working in a company were employees are already working as hard as they can, do they really have time to mentor their fellow employees like me?

My wife is working on her PhD and as part of the process she has regular meetings with a group of advisors who help to steer, challenge and advise her along the way to completing her PhD. So I wondered if the same process could work in a corporate setting. Instead of a single mentor, the employee could look to a Board of Advisors who would provide guidance and advice for the employee. So I discussed it with others and came up with the following guidelines for the Board of Advisors. The mentoree/employee is called an Associate.

  • 6 Month Term for each Advisor
  • Meeting (phone) with each member once per month
  • 30 Minutes during first week of month
  • Face to face with each Advisor at least once per term
  • 3-5 Advisors on the Board
  • Each Advisor to create a goal for the Associate
  • Advisor tracks and reviews with Associate regularly
  • Goal to be completed within Advisor’s Term
  • Goals must track to Associate’s defined goals
  • Each Advisor to state reason(s) for agreeing to be on Board
  • Associate to state reason(s) for asking Advisor to be on Board

So I approached 4 potential Advisors for my Board, 2 outside the company, 2 within the company. Not that I planned that, it just worked out that way. I am supposed to setup one-on-one sessions with my Board to set the plan in motion to start in 2007. As the experiment continues I will make note of any interesting results, both expected and unexpected.

Speaking on unexpected, life is funny sometimes, by shear chance, I attended a recent HDS event for companies in the Social Networking space. Jeremiah has blogged about the event here. At the event was Ann Tardy of LifeMoxie, a company that provides a methodology, training and a web based application to match mentors with individuals seeking mentors. Initially, she has focused on getting companies to setup the service as part of their HR offerings so that employees within a company can sign up to be mentors, or to find mentors. She described it as Match.com for mentoring. Each employee has a profile that allows you to check their potential as a mentor. The application acts as a coach to both the mentor and the individual to walk them thru the mentoring process. While I haven’t seen the application, it sounds very intriguing. You should know, that Ann has more moxie and energy than 99% of the people in the world, if nothing else seek her out and pick her brain, you won’t be disapointed.

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