Mentoring DO works

One of my biggest influencer is Ann Rolfe, she is internationally recognised as Australia’s leading specialist in mentoring, and Ann shares her knowledge about mentoring on her blog:


She is an award winner in Asian-Pacific in e-learning&training, and she won it for Best Mentoring/Coaching Program, with her client NSW Department of Community and Family Services for their Aboriginal Management Mentoring Program.

Train the Mentors

Some mentoring programs simply introduce the mentee for the mentor and leave them to «get on with it».

But people need to know what is expected of them, how to go about it and why it is important and as the coordinater of the program you need to be confident they have the skills for mentoring.

The purpose of training is to enable mentors and mentorees to establish effective relationships. Because it´s not the same to manage people at work and to have a mentee. You have to build a relationship and trust on a short period of time.

And as a mentor you need the right communicating styles and techniques for applying the mentoring process.

No, as Ann Rolfe in Mentoring Works says: Effective mentoring results from a set of attitudes, behaviors, skills and motivation. Training, complemented by ongoing support and follow-up, significantly increases your return on investment. That’s how a mentoring program works.

I always train the mentors in my program and I use my training “The Big Five”, which is the five most important tools/techiques for the mentor to use in the 1-on-1 meetings.

The five tools are:

  1. Active listening
  2. Effective questions
  3. Feedback
  4. Be responsible
  5. Recognition

Under the whole the participants sit two and two and train on the tools. I don´t believe in a training where the trainer talks all the time and the participants sit and takes note. Everything is gone in the minute they walk from there.

So to be a good mentor you must practice, practice and practice…


Mentor prepare yourself

Good mentoring relationship starts with preparation by both parties. As a mentor you should be as aware as possible of what you have to contribute and how your potential contributions can match the needs of the adept.

The adepts too, might prepare a list of questions about what they hope to get out of the mentoring relationship.

The following checklist will give you an idea of the things you will benefit from clarifying as a mentor:

  1. What carees ecperiences have helped me most in my own professional development?
  2. What were the most important lessons learned from those lessons?
  3. What «truths» would I want to pass on from those lessons?
  4. If I were to contribute one quotation to my own book about succeding in this organization, what would that quote be?
  5. What have mentors done for me and my development? What kinds of mentoring experiences have been most helpful to me?
  6. If I had the power, what would I change about any of the mentors I have had?
  7. How relevant do I believe my experiences and my professional learning will be to the development of my adept?
  8. As a mentor, how would I like to be remembered?