There are times in a mentoring relationship where your protégé may need new tools to develop their professional skills. This video offers an example of how to support a protégé with work related skills.
- Before we begin, I would love for you to reflect on what you think you gain by serving as a mentor. If you can, jot a few ideas down. There's been a lot of research about mentoring benefits. For example, when you help proteges become better performers at work, it can actually pay off for you financially. Serving as a mentor also increases your social capital. You become known as a developer of talent.
In order to assess and develop your protege's work skills, do the following. First, ask your protege to bring in their past performance reviews. Look at the performance reviews together. Make note of their three major strengths and three major growing edges. Then decide where you can be helpful as a mentor. For example, I have a protege at work who's a junior professor. She's a terrific researcher and colleague. But when she was new to the job, she got a little lost in the classroom.
Her teaching evaluations were really low, like two's and three's on a five-point scale. Her students liked her personally, but they felt like her lectures were, in the words of one student, "Zzzz." It's really hard to get feedback like that, so I really empathized with her. We agreed that my job as a mentor would be to provide her with specific suggestions to add some pizzazz in the classroom. Second, give your protege a plan to help them improve in their job.
Make sure the plan includes specific action items that are time-bound. For example, with my protege, I gave her a few assignments. I invited her into my classroom over the course of a week. She observed me facilitate a collaborative volleyball exercise for a course on leadership. And finally, I suggested she reflect on her best and worst teaching moments and bring that list in for us to discuss at our next mentoring meeting. Third, follow up and recognize their progress.
Check in and see if they've made progress on the action items. Discuss any obstacles and make necessary changes. Finally, celebrate small wins. So, with my protege, at the end of the semester, we reviewed her teaching evaluations. We were both thrilled to see that the two's and three's had become four's and five's. We decided to celebrate with mani-pedis, my treat. I'm a big believer in the idea that celebrating small wins is the key to improving your protege's work-related skills.
Getting better at your job is both hard and humbling. So when your protege makes a step forward, it's a win for both of you. Celebrate it.
She also offers guidance on building trust and chemistry, providing feedback, and helping your protégé make critical career and work decisions and become resilient in the face of challenges. She also helps you address common obstacles, including a protégé that fails to meet expectations or violates trust, and explains how to gracefully exit the relationship.
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- Building a relationship with your protégé
- Talking and listening with impact
- Giving feedback
- Developing trust
- Setting goals
- Developing your protégé's skills
- Managing mentoring relationships
- Overcoming common obstacles
- How to make time for mentoring