Are you a mentor for someone in your office or a similar industry?
Being a mentor for someone is an honour that you shouldn’t take for granted. It’s an opportunity to pass on your knowledge, skills, wins, and mistakes to someone who is looking to follow in your footsteps. While they no doubt have their own trials and tribulations, they know they have you to help run a mentoring session on what went well and what could be improved upon.
But how do you run a mentoring session? You might think you need to prepare a run sheet or a script to help guide you through the conversation. However, it’s your mentee who should do most of the preparation.
While it’s important to run a mentoring session that has structure, your role is to keep it on track and ensure certain achievements are met. What achievements do you ask? Check out these ones below.
Set Objectives When You Run a Mentoring Session
Regardless if it’s a team meeting or a mentoring session, there should be a purpose to it. When the time is up, both of you should have felt like the time together was worth it.
You should already be clear on what your mentee wants to work on or what their objectives are. So by the end of the conversation, you should have both moved forward in some way towards achieving these goals.
If not, then all you did was have a chat for an hour or so.
Commit to a Set Period of Time
Speaking of time, you should both commit to a certain length of time for your mentoring session.
Don’t leave yourself too short that you’re rushing through the conversation. You also don’t want it to seem too long that you end up with a lot of time on your hands.
An hour is typically enough time. Especially if you’re keeping it to the point of the objectives and what the mentoring session is looking to achieve. Keep tabs on the time and section the meeting together so that you know how you’re tracking.
Run a Mentoring Session Face to Face
While you could have a chat over the phone or via a Zoom room, the best mentoring sessions occur when you’re both in the room together.
You’ll be able to witness body language, particularly if you drop a truth bomb or suggest something that will push your mentee out of their comfort zone. It helps you guide the conversation and no when you should put more pressure on and when you should ease off.
It’s not possible to get this type of experience in any other medium. So if you can, make your mentoring session face to face so that you both get one another’s full attention.
Follow Up on Previous Actions
I don’t often suggest taking notes during a mentoring session. However, it’s important that you come prepared with details from previous meetings. Especially when it comes to actions.
The best part you can play as a mentor is keeping your mentee accountable. If you gave them actions or suggestions on how they can improve themselves, then follow up on if they actually completed those tasks.
If they did, it would show how committed they are to the mentoring experience. If they didn’t, then it might be worth revisiting why they wanted a mentor in the first place.
Set New Actions to Pursue
If your mentee has shown the initiative to complete their actions, then you should consider setting the next ones for them to achieve.
This shouldn’t be a task list. It should consist of actions that are going to help them grow. By the time they’ve completed the goals, they should have learned something or improved in a skill they already possess. If they got nothing out of it, then you gave them the wrong task.
All of their actions should refer back to their objective. Where do they want to improve, and why are the person to help? Really consider what activities you plan on having them complete.
How to Run Other Sessions
Whether you need to run a mentoring session or an executive session, the most important rule is that it has your undivided attention. You should be prepared and have a structure, but don’t be afraid to see where the conversation takes you. Just ensure that it has a purpose and isn’t going off on too many tangents.
Being a mentor can be as rewarding as being a leader. If you need help with either, then you should make sure you’re following the Better Boss Blog. It contains tips and advice on how to improve your leadership capabilities. Follow pwf services on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook, and why not tell your mentee to do the same, so they get something out of it too.