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Mentoring - Do you have a mentoring program?

Last updated by Jayden Alchin [SSW] on 05 Oct 2021 11:12 pm (about 2 months ago) See History

There's a few types of mentoring:

  • #1 Consulting mentoring where you hire expert consultants because you don't have the skills within your company. This is most commonly all day engagements e.g. SSW's Mentoring Services.

If you have the skills within your company, then you can up-skill people using the brains of your own company and this usually falls into two groups

  • #2 Ad-hoc mentoring (informal) where you get advice when you need it
  • #3 Scheduled mentoring (formal), when you book in meetings and make a plan

Who mentors who?

Most consider mentoring to be a senior guiding and building the skills of a junior. However, you can really supercharge your company if you understand that everyone has something that they can teach someone. Being a mentor also makes people better, so employees should be encouraged to think about what they can teach others.

What should I get mentored on?

The first decision should be whether you want soft skills or technical skills (choose one topic at a time). You may already know what you would like to be mentored in, however you really should ask your peers what they think you should be mentored on. You could have a blind spot. Here's how to approach it:

  • Make a list on what you would like to be mentored on, e.g. PowerShell, Power BI, Power Apps, Power Speaking... ha ha 😉
  • Approach a few people you trust, and ask them what you should be mentored on (without showing them your list)
  • Then show the list, and brainstorm ideas
  • Make a decision, and approach a mentor

Here are some of the things you can learn:

  • Public Speaking
  • Account Management
  • Low Code solutions e.g. Power Apps & Dynamics
  • Frontend Frameworks e.g. Angular, React & Blazor
  • Backend - e.g. database design, Clean Architecture
  • Debugging
  • Designing big solutions - Cloud Architecture
  • UI/UX Design
  • Great blogging
  • Increasing your social media presence

Scheduled mentoring - How does it work?

As a mentee, you will be driving your progress. If you need additional motivation, add what you are learning to your Teams Status. Mentors - you can do the same, let people know what you're mentoring.

mentoring teams status
Figure: Let your colleagues know what knowledge you are sharing and learning... subtly 🙂

You will need to book a few appointments with your mentor:

  • 5 minute chats at the end of every week to catch up to see how you're progressing
  • 3x monthly mentoring sessions (about 30mins) to work on your target areas.

It is motivating to know that you will be checking-in with your mentor regularly. At the end of your 3 months, sit down and recap how well it went for you. It's helpful to give a mark out of 10.

mentoring talk smaller
Figure: A mentee reaches out to someone they know has great skills in a particular area, and they ask to be mentored

1st Meeting

  • Tell the mentor what you would like to achieve by the end of the 3 months
  • Work out your goals & set targets
  • Then the mentee works independently for a month, checking-in when needed
  • At the end of each week, check-in for 5 mins to let them know how you're going

2nd Meeting

  • The Mentor will review their progress and give tips or suggestions on how to move forward
  • Set new goals
  • Then the mentee works independently for a month
  • At the end of each week, check-in for 5 mins to let them know how you're going

3rd Meeting

  • The Mentor will review their progress and give tips or suggestions on how to move forward
  • Set some longer-term goals
  • Then the mentee works independently, checking in when needed informally

Reward both parties

It's nice to be thankful, so add this new skill to your GitHub profile, make a social media post or even add it to your LinkedIn. Remember to give your mentor an @mention.

screen shot 2021 09 23 at 3 53 35 pm
Figure: Tell people subtly that you are into mentoring. E.g. 👨‍🎓 Exploration: I'm exploring leadership with @adamcogan

Penny WalkerPenny Walker
Adam CoganAdam Cogan
Ulysses MaclarenUlysses Maclaren
Piers SinclairPiers Sinclair

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