Mentoring News #6

October 2017

Welcome to the sixth edition of Mentoring News. This month focuses on some of those essential skills the mentor and the mentee (actually, all of us) need to get the most out of the mentoring meetings: listening, asking questions, how to get the conversation started, and managing the meeting time. I am also seeking your feedback on one key question – “What is your biggest challenge in your role as a mentor or a mentee?” We all face challenges in our mentoring work; I’d like to know what yours is.

Am I really listening?

Steven Covey in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (first published in 1988) says that a lot of people listen with the intent to reply and not to understand, listening to ourselves instead of the other person as we prepare what we are going to say and the questions we are going to ask. Does this sound familiar? How well do you listen?
Here are 3 key skills that help you listen more more

What questions do I ask?

Effective questioning requires the ability to listen. Using questions to assist with listening and understanding is an essential skill for the mentor and the mentee.
For example, the mentor uses questions to gauge and clarify what support the mentee needs at any stage in the mentoring meetings. The mentee will have questions to ask of the mentor too and needs to think of the purpose of their questions as well as being clear in what they are asking.

I designed the following diagram which illustrates three key elements of a decision-making model for determining effective more

How to start, continue and finish the mentoring conversation (the SCF Model™)


Here are some suggested phrases that you may find helpful when you are (i) starting the conversation in your mentoring meetings, (ii) when you want to keep the momentum of the conversation, and (iii) ways to finish the conversation. I call these the Conversation Starters, Continuers and Finishers, which are framed in 3 phases of the mentoring meeting. Here are some examples of more

Snapshot of a mentoring meeting

If you are new to mentoring, it can be a bit daunting to know how to get started.
How will you use the mentoring meetings so that both of you achieve value-for-time?
And if you are finding that your meetings seem to lack a clear purpose, direction or flow, putting a meeting structure in place can be really helpful.
The following ideas are taken from my mentor scenario and mentee scenario handbooks. There are tips for what to do and what to talk about in your first meeting, suggested steps for creating a mentoring plan to guide your meetings, and a meeting structure that you may find useful to more


What is your biggest challenge?

I ask this question of mentors and mentees in my training workshops. I would be really interested to hear from you as to your biggest challenge in your role as a mentor or a mentee. Or what you know is the biggest challenge for the mentors and mentees in your organisation's mentoring programme.

It's just one question - please take a couple of minutes to answer it by following the link and submitting your response. That would be great thanks......

"The quality of the relationship between the mentor and mentee significantly impacts on the success of the mentoring relationship. The mentor and the mentee need to be willing to share things about themselves and maintain confidentiality at all times."
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