This is a shortened example of a mentoring model that we have used successfully to help structure a mentoring program for young leaders.
The Foundation A mentor/mentee relationship is built on a foundation of shared values and key goals that underpin the purpose of the relationship. This should be coupled with a summary of the partnership’s “Rules of Engagement” (a set of operating guidelines to help clarify what is expected), and signed by both parties in a written agreement.
Layer 1: Trust / Rapport / Credibility This is the first step in the relationship, where the mentor will work with a mentee to earn their trust. This layer is important, as it is a stepping-stone to opening the mentee up about the goal they want to work on. In order to build trust and credibility, the mentor might share stories and examples from their life including:
a. Past successes in the area they will be working with their mentee b. Past failures in the area they will be working with their mentee
Layer 2: Define the Problem or Skill Here, we talk through the importance of defining and breaking down the skill that the mentee wants to develop or the problem they want to solve. The idea is that the mentee has a clear definition of what they are trying to achieve.
Layer 3: Meaning and Impact It is important to identify the mentee’s motivation for solving their problem or developing the skill they have identified. They can do this by working through a conversation around what it means to: The Person Their Immediate Team Their Department Their Organisation
By doing so, we can find out what is important to them and use this as “fuel” when the mentee experiences a difficulty or loses focus.
Layer 4: Commitment and Action This is the stage where the mentor and mentee talk through the possible actions and commit to what they will do. This stage includes identifying possible options, pros/cons of each, the obstacles to each option, and how they might overcome these obstacles. This may take some reflection and thinking on the mentee’s part.
Layer 5: Support and Resources The mentor will work with the mentee on some of the logistics of their plan of action. This will include the people from whom they need to garner support from and how they will get it. They will also explore the required resources and what they will do if they cannot get them. This is also where they will define the level of support requested/required of the mentor.
Layer 6: Review and Feedback The mentor and mentee will set-up when and how they will check in with one another and what they will use to measure success. This is also the stage where they will review what happens, why it worked/didn’t work, and what they can do to course correct if needed.