Everyone in America has become busy. Still, this is no excuse for neglecting your mentoring relationship. Watch this video to learn how to make time for your protégé.
- Do you ever feel like being busy has become and a competitive sport in corporate America? Our busyness can feel overwhelming. When you think about mentoring, it might feel like just one more task to add to your impossible to-do list. However, it does not have to be like that. Recently I was interviewed by time expert author, Laura Vanderkam, and we talked about how to make time for mentoring. The following are some ideas we discussed.
One, do a mentoring FAQ. As you develop in your career, you get approached by a lot of folks wanting you to mentor them. I find that many times at the questions asked in the first informational interview with the protégé are pretty standard. Consider creating a mentoring FAQ that covers the basics like your background and your average day. Now, when a would-be protégé reaches out to me, I share my FAQ first. This makes our first meeting more interesting and we can go deeper in our conversation.
You can find a sample mentoring FAQ at my website. Two, integrate mentoring into your daily life. None of us need another thing to do. Instead, make mentoring part of what you're already doing professionally, and in some cases personally. For example, recently I brought a protégé with me to a conference. We had an hour in the car to talk, and then she watched me in action, and we debriefed on the way home. Personally, I also do a lot of walking and talking with protégés.
In this way, you get your exercise into your day and make time for mentoring. Of course, you need to use good judgment with this as they are different norms for cross-gender mentoring. Three, put your protégé to work. I had to credit my protégé Rosie with this idea. For example, I have a lot of alumni who want to me to mentor them. Often times, I will exchange a mentoring session for a guest-speaking session in my class. In this way, I integrate my mentoring into my day, give my current students a role model to learn from, and the time that I would've spent prepping, I spend mentoring.
However, I do want to stress that you must use good judgment, and make this a win-win. Four, designate a specific mentoring window. Many of the top mentors I've interviewed have created a specific time and place for mentoring every week. For example, one of my mentors reserve Saturdays from 10 to 12 at Starbucks for mentoring meetings. Five, delegate mentoring to your lineage. This is a great idea I learned about years ago when I interviewed former NBC executive Paula Madison.
If the idea here is you can't personally mentor everyone all the time. However, you can provide introductions of new protégés to your existing protégés. Finally, I love the quote from the artist to Brian Andreas. "Everything changed the day she figured out "there is exactly enough time "for all of the important things in her life." Make time for mentoring activities. It is important, it can energize you, and it matters.
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