Thank you to Twitter.com/AndreaAresca for asking about mentoring:
When I read “Mojo” by Marshall Goldsmith, I solidified a couple of ideas about mentoring.
- 1. That “thing” that I need mentoring with is much closer than I think. Over the past few months, my Moleskine journal has “received” several notes (in my handwriting!) about leadership, professional development, and innovation. Interestingly enough, the same two peoples’ names keep showing up
as people I’d like to learn from/talk to/take to coffee a few times!
- 2. I already have a network of people that will informally “mentor” me. I call on these people regularly to meet with, talk to, and bounce ideas back and forth. Formalizing the mentoring relationship,
in my past 10 years of experience doing this, usually comes down to asking for what I want.
- 3. Follow up. After meeting with someone I consider a “mentor,” I make a point that week (or so) to send a note or call them to let them know how I’m implementing what it was that we talked about the last time we met together.
So, what do I ask for? I like to first ask for the time. My favorite mentoring (thanks again Kevin W.!) experience happened a while back. As a result of that, I’ve actually designed a product we offer our senior manager clients through The Womack Company.
Over a 7-10 day period, during a phone call and subsequent emails, the client identifies THREE things to work on. Personal, professional…health, fitness…financial, familial…whatever they want, but they only get three. Then, together we craft 3 questions – open-ended and discussion rich – that address each of the three things they’d like mentoring in over the next 8 weeks.
Then, each week we talk, I ask the three questions, one at a time. For 2-5 minutes, we discuss the answers to that question. We each take our notes and compile those with last week’s answers. Then, at the end of 8 weeks, we have a meeting to discuss the questions, the experience and the results.
For a total of about 5 hours of “time,” I guarantee the results will amaze you. Try it out!
(By the way, have you gotten your copy of Mojo yet?)