Mentoring Purposes and Pitfalls
Purposes of LifeWork Systems Mentoring
- Development of emotional intelligence – self / social AWARENESS, AND self / social MANAGEMENT
- Expressing appreciation and recognition to each person being mentored
- Brief review of purpose (group and individual).
- Supporting task ownership. Transferring responsibility for tasks that each person owns include the management of:
- Relationships – Do I have 10’s with people (not necessarily best friends but rather no troubling challenges or unresolved issues)? Do I make this top priority and foundational?
- Productivity – Am I feeling and being competent, excellent and efficient in getting things done?
- Engagement – Am I fully engaged, bringing my A-game? Excited about my job?
- Blueprint – including next steps on purpose, values, visions, goals, procedures or roles
- Tools – Use and mastery in applying them
Note: All employees at every level receive mentoring each month, no exceptions.
9 Pitfalls to Avoid During Mentoring
- Stories or advice: Allowing or encouraging the one being coached to share stories and engage in conversation (LifeWork Systems coaching is not talk therapy, venting, or advisement). Use time out motion
- Poor questions: Do not focus on WHY and WHO questions which are less helpful than WHAT and HOW questions – good questions are “what is your plan?” “What are some tools you could apply?” “How will you accomplish this?” “What’s next?”
- Veering off course: This happens because the person being coached thinks a thought about something else and diverts you from the question asked (likely unconsciously)
- Winging it: When mentors do not use LifeWork Systems templates (they think it’s better to “wing it” or to add their own needs/wants to the session that has nothing to do with task ownership as defined above)
- Ignoring avoidance: listen for victim/blaming, vague, uncommitted language and/or behaving; not answering questions as asked
- Other agenda: Mentor interjects own agenda (focusing there instead of fully focused on person being mentored)
- Poor time management: Mentor does not manage the 30m schedule in a time-efficient manner
- Saying too much: (including advising and counseling) instead of asking questions (Socratic) that lead the person to self and social awareness AND implementations related to their discoveries
- Skipping or repurposing sessions: Mentoring is not optional. It is a monthly requirement for everyone, no exceptions
Component Mentoring Activities
- Review purpose and core values: Do NOT bypass purpose to get to values. Review both briefly
- Connect: Spending time with, appreciating, and 100% serving with generosity and respect
- Comfort with discomfort: Lead by walking the walk, and modeling fearlessness about discomfort
- Support: Encouraging, self and social awareness, diagnosis, resolution, with practice and commitments
- Train/practice: Review tools related to issues or just to continue to supporting mastery of each
- Gain commitments: Notate committed actions and next steps in notes, your calendar and follow-up
- What it’s NOT: Psycho-analysis, therapy, chit-chat, gossip, inequality, stories, details, or advising
- Watch for and use any opportunity for a teachable moment!
Leader Preparations for each Mentoring Session
- Read handoff notes if you are co-mentoring sessions with another person.
- Review past notes and commitments, their Ntrinsx colors, and consider current state of their behaviors you know of in and outside of mentoring.
- Fill out their General Summary Data Form. Initially, fill out their name, date and any pertinent notes
- Bring your own tools (phone apps and tool booklets) for use at sessions
Processes During Mentoring
Note: Mentoring sessions should be no more or less than 30 minutes. Do not extend time beyond the agreed period if possible. It’s critical to follow the process, using the mentoring checklist faithfully, without variation, and be fully prepared in advance in order to be highly efficient. Also, when supporting improvement in relationships, productivity and engagement, if you see issues your mentee is not seeing, you introduce them.
- Recognize and Appreciate (briefly state appreciation). Not appreciation for coming to the meeting. Make sure you are sincere, make eye contact, and pay attention to, if and that the mentee receives it.
- Review Purpose and Values(briefly) Bring copy with you. Do not avoid talking about purpose.
- Review Past Issues/Commitments (briefly) Have notes with you; add current observations too.
- Relationship issues: Your objective is he/she become aware, and make a plan, including practice it.
- Productivity issues: Your objective is he/she become aware, and make a plan.
- Engagement issues: Your objective is he/she become aware, and make a plan. This is about motivation. and commitment. Draw on his/her purpose and values. Seek new values, choices if needed.
- Review Blueprint: Your objective is he/she become aware, and make a plan, especially for moving forward through visions, goals, procedures and roles to celebrate progress, then on to something new.
- Review Tools and Skills: Review their “It Just Got Real” sheets every time when mentoring with them. If there is time, bring out the list of skills to review and practice.
- Express Thanks: Thank them and recognize their hard work.
Processes After Mentoring
- Log session as completed: Go to team tool and record this activity.
- Briefly update your General Summary Data Form within 24 hours. You demonstrate a high level of support to keep specific issues in mind for accountability and to celebrate progress.
Final Instructions: Enter information into the General Summary Data Form each person you are mentoring. Keep this updated each time you have a session.
Responsibility of Person Being Mentored
- Show up on time and be prepared. Consider your relationships, productivity and engagement levels and have your numbers already identified to jumpstart support.
- Bring documentation: Have your blueprint, worksheets (filled out) and workbooks with you.
- Participate in an efficient and engaged manner. Do not try to divert conversation to other activities.
- Set a plan of action. Make it a priority to move forward with specific, time-bound plans for fully resolving challenges or creating the new outcomes desired.
- Take responsibility to follow-up with your mentor when you’ve said you would.