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ooVoo the next evolution in online communication

ooVoo has many great features — from video calls with up to six people at once to video messaging to chat and file transfer capabilities. This could be possibilities to have mentors also far away, and for mentors to have more adepts at meeting the same time. Click the link for some of the highlighted features

This is a recommendation from Krishna De (in the article «Ten tips for finding a mentor»), I have not yet had time to try it out.

Good luck and please come with feedback!

Ten Tips For Finding A Mentor

Krishna De wrote in the Sunday Times article 7. of september (, that one of the suggestions she made to enhance your presentation skills is to work with a mentor.

But what can you do if there is no formal mentoring programme in your company?
Where might you start in finding a mentor to support your career progress?

Here are 10 tips to help you find and get the most out of working with a mentor:

1. Consider why you are looking for a mentor – Is it about helping you progress your career? Do you want to expand your knowledge into a different sector? This will help you focus on finding a relevant mentor.

2. Explore what you are looking for in a mentor – Are you looking for someone to be a great sounding board? Do you want someone that is willing to share their personal experience and expertise? This will help you be clear in your communication as you approach a potential mentor.

3. Review how important it is to have a mentor close to hand – The experience and personality of your mentor is going to be a factor when approaching someone. But how important is it for you to find someone to work with face to face – or would you enjoy working with someone by phone, by Skype or even by video conferencing making use of the new social media platforms such as

4. Take stock of what you will bring to the mentoring relationship – Are you committed to taking action? What specific experience have you had that might be of interest to a mentor? In successful mentoring relationships, both the mentor and the mentee find value in the relationship, so get clear about your unique experience that will enrich the relationship between you and your potential mentor.

5. Review your immediate network – Who is it that you already know that you trust and value? Is there someone in your workplace you could approach? Perhaps your mentor could be someone you have met in a professional network you are a member of? Or could your mentor be someone you have worked with in the past? Take the time to consider all the people you already know as a potential mentor as that will make it easier for you to approach them.

6. Focus your approach – Before approaching a potential mentor, do your research. Who do you know that has worked with the potential mentor? What’s their view on how open, challenging yet supportive this person may be? Ask for advice on how to best approach the potential mentor.

7. Prepare for the meeting – Once you have identified one or two people you would like to consider to be your mentor, approach them one at a time and request an exploratory meeting either by phone or face to face. If the potential mentor does not know you, is there someone who can make the introduction for you? Make sure you have your updated CV available to provide background detail on your career to-date.

8. Outline an agenda – Keep your request for an initial meeting to be around 30 minutes – this meeting is to connect you with a potential mentor and not a first mentoring meeting. Your goal is to outline why you are looking for a mentor and to explore if they might consider being your mentor. Don’t put your potential mentor under pressure to make a decision immediately – they may need to reflect on your request given their other commitments. Also look at for how to break the ice.

9. Follow up after the meeting – After the meeting take time to follow up with the potential mentor, perhaps by sending them a handwritten note thanking them for their time meeting you. If the person you approached is not able to be a mentor for you, you could engage their support in finding a mentor.

10. Take action – If you have found a mentor to work with, then plan your first meeting and schedule it in the calendar. You can then prepare a draft agenda covering the subject areas that you would like to cover in your first meeting such as confidentiality, the way you plan you connect, how frequently you want to meet and the scope of what you would like to discuss. Seek your mentor’s input to the draft agenda – preparing for the meeting will ensure that your mentor sees that you committed to the relationship with them and will help get you off to a flying start.

Apply these ten tips and you’ll be sure to find a mentor to support you in expanding your professional success.

This article was initially published as part of a feature in Marketing Age titled ‘Get Thee A Guru’ which you can access HERE :

My book project

I am writing two books about mentoring. They are handbooks for the involved part in a mentoring relationship.
I have learned in my years working with mentoring that both adepts and mentors don`t get the full potential out of the time they spend together.
The reflection part and the overall perspective is less because they take easy on the fact that writing down all thoughts is important.
It is important if you want personal growth to take notes. So my project is to find some tool to make it more easy for both adepts and mentors.

I am writing one book for the adept and one for the mentor. Mentoring is an exciting topic and it is easy to find a lot of material, but more difficult to select the most important.

Care to comments or tip me of topics you are more than welcome

Are You ready to get a mentor?

The popular advice is «find a mentor».
But before you get one you should ask yourself «How ready am I to be mentored»?

Your readiness will have a significant impact on how successful and productive the mentoring partnership will be.

Follow the link and take this quiz that will give you a start in assessing your readiness..

Is mentoring the poor relative to coaching?

I found the article, from 20. august 2008 at:

Finally someone with the same opinion as me, because if you read it through you find that it is pro mentoring all over.

It`s maybe a bit long, but it`s worth it!

Coaching vs. mentoring

There is no denying that coaching is the profession du jour: If it’s not advances in e-coaching making the trade press, then it’s another new product launching to make the coaches life easier. And where there is training to be imparted, there is money to be made. Add to this the impending skills gap and the current government fervour for departmental development and you have a voracious demand for more coaches.

But for all the good this tunnel vision has done for the coaching industry, it has only served to push mentoring further into the background. David Pardey, senior policy research manager at the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) suggests that the main reason behind the imbalance is down to coaching’s ability to sell itself.

«Mentoring is worthy but dull, coaching is sexy and professional. I don’t think that’s true or a good thing but I do think the emphasis on coaching has been to the detriment of mentoring.»
David Pardey, ILM

«Coaches are more commercial,» he admits. «There are an awful lot of people out there who are professional coaches; in fact the numbers are increasing all the time but also within businesses and organisations, there is a growing emphasis put on managers working as coaches with their own teams, and they in turn are having to learn new skills,» he says.

Pardey also believes that the popularity of coaching has been aided by lobbying groups and the government push on coaching, as well as the general perception that it is seen as a more ‘professional’ discipline. «Mentoring is worthy but dull, coaching is sexy and professional. I don’t think that’s true or a good thing but I do think the emphasis on coaching has been to the detriment of mentoring,» he reflects.

Mentoring comes of age

That said, the value of mentoring is gaining momentum particularly among managers where there is a growing appreciation of its advantages. It now plays a critical role in organisations and has been particularly important in the progression of women and other minority groups in the workplace and presents a valuable tool in long-term management and organisation development – something that short-term coaching strategies can often overlook.

Jan West heads up MentorSET , a women-only independently funded organisation that places mentees from the science, technology and engineering sectors with suitable mentors. She has seen mentoring experience a surge in popularity since the scheme’s inception in 2001.

«From our point of view mentoring seems to have become exceedingly popular. Back in the days when we first set up, mentoring was not well known but it’s all over the place now,» she says.

«People probably don’t understand what mentoring is all about. They think coaching is all about having these courageous conversations – well you can do that with mentoring, it’s no different.»
Linda Grant, Skipton Building Society