Mentorship

Resource mentors and mentees with structured mentoring.
Contributed by

John Tooth

Published September 20, 2022
Collection
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What Is Mentorship?

Mentorship as a general practice is one of the oldest forms of spreading knowledge between people. In this version of the practice we leverage the use of visual boards to provide clarity and alignment to the mentor and the mentee. This practice is intended to be leveraged on an as needed basis, it’s expected that for each mentorship there may be elements of the practice that are less relevant. It is worth noting that mentorships may be completely informal, this practice is designed to support mentorships that would benefit from lightweight structure.

This framing of Mentorship has been developed based of research and co-designed by the remote:af community. A video of the event has been provided below.

Example images of the Mentorship pattern in use have been provided in the share link with the templates.

Why Do Mentorship?

Mentorship can provide organisations with reinforced channels of information outside of hierarchy and providing ongoing learning and development between people. As a learning and development practice, mentorships are effective in providing nuanced career growth for the mentor and the mentee.

How to do Mentorship?

Mentorships can often be non-linear, over the course of a given mentorship you may find the roles between mentor and mentee shift and change. To support a wider range of contexts the practice has been segmented into three domains;

  • Alignment – between the Mentor and Mentee
  • Sessions – that facilitate growth and learning
  • Reflection – on the mentorship and how it’s evolved

Examples of each section completed is provided in the images section.

Alignment

Story.Me Cards

Rapport is the cornerstone of relationships between people. The Story.Me Cards are a light exercise that encourages self-disclosures within boundaries to help people get to know each other better. This practice focuses specifically on the mentorship itself, if you don’t use Story.Me Cards as a rapport building exercise then it’s highly recommended to allow space for the mentor and mentee get to know each other. A link to the Story.Me Cards available on the Miroverse is listed below the practice.

Recommend in section timebox: 10 minutes

Mentor/ Mentee Context

The first activity in this practice is allowing space for the Mentor and the Mentee to explore what they hope to achieve from the mentorship. This activity combined with the Story.Me Cards can useful preparation work for the first mentoring session

Motivations

The six questions in this section are posed to encourage reflection for the Mentor/Mentee.

  1. What about your history is important to you?
  2. What is the most rewarding work you’ve done?
  3. What have you found exciting in the past year?
  4. What do you hope to focus on in the future?
  5. What will you find rewarding about your focus?
  6. What about your focus is going to be exciting?

Capture at least one answer to each question in the spaces provided on the card.

Potential Goals

Reflect on your motivations and brainstorm some potential goals you’d like to achieve through this mentorship. Look for themes in your answers from the motivations section to get inspiration. It’s helpful to be ambitious here, since the Mentor/Mentee will agree on goals in the Mentorship Agreement.

Boundaries

An effective mentorship needs boundaries to maintain focus. This will also help the mentor and the mentee explore any conflicts in expectations at the start of the mentorship. Capture in the boundaries section any topics or concerns you have with the mentorship. It’s important to include considerations about confidentiality, limitations on personal inquiry and methods for sharing feedback.

Mentorship Agreement

In this space we bring the contexts of the Mentor and Mentee together to agree on the rules of engagement, goals and rhythm of the mentorship. It is useful for the mentor and mentee to present their respective contexts to introduce this activity.

Recommend in session timebox: 30 minutes

Our Boundaries

Discuss and agree on the boundaries important to both the mentor and the mentee. Create a shared view of what topics are out scope for the mentorship. Mitigate and conflicts between the boundaries of the mentor and mentee through compromise. If any conflicts aren’t reconcilable, shift to an open discussion around if this mentorship should continue.

Note: there is a section regarding confidentiality in ‘agreed behaviours’

Outcomes

Generate and agree on the goals of this mentorship. Ideally the mentor and mentee will share a single goal to provide focus, which can be updated later if needed. When writing multiple goals, ensure they relate to either the potential goals or motivations of both the mentor and the mentee.

Cadence

Capture relevant in response to the questions. Consider adding additional details as needed to avoid confusion.

  • When will the mentorship end?
  • How often will we meet?
  • What tools will we use to stay in touch?

Agreed behaviours

Capture the behaviours expected to be demonstrated in the mentorship. Typically both the mentor and the mentee should be equally accountable for maintaining the agreed behaviours.

  • How will we communicate when things get difficult? (to help navigate conflict)
  • What can we count on each other for? (expectations for standard behaviour)
  • What doe we need to keep confidential? (specificity regarding confidentiality)

Sessions

Mentorship Timeline

The timeline exists to provide a shared space of your time together to support reflection and continuous learning. There are three sections; appreciations, learnings and resources. Both the mentee and the mentor should aim to contribute to the timeline.

Appreciations is to capture the moments where the mentor or mentee genuinely appreciates something that occurred due to the mentorship.

Learnings is to capture what has been learned as a result of the mentorship.

Resources is to capture books, websites and other suggested material discussed during the course of the mentorship. A ‘Start’ and ‘Finish’ has been provided to help the mentor and mentee correlate their growth the mentorships duration.

A ‘Start’ and ‘Finish’ has been provided to help the mentor and mentee correlate their growth the mentorships duration.

Mentoring Session Card

The session card is intended to be duplicated as needed and is relatively simple. There are two sections, the workspace and actions. The workspace can be used as a visual aide to assist in conversations during the mentorship and the actions space is reserved for the commitments made during a session.

Reflection

Mentorship Reflection

The mentorship reflection is designed to support the closing of a mentorship. While simple, this session may take some time depending on the length of the mentorship and the relationship that has developed between the mentor and mentee.

Outcomes

Reflect on the Mentorship Timeline and the Outcomes captured in the mentorship agreement. This is a space for celebration and reflection on lessons learned.

Network

Discuss any network connections that could provide further support to the mentor or mentee. Consider who could amplify the learning or progress made.

Next Steps

Capture the mentor’s and mentee’s intentions for what they will do next as a consequence of the mentorship.

Look at Mentorship

Links we love

Check out these great links which can help you dive a little deeper into running the Mentorship practice with your team, customers or stakeholders.


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