How to Develop a Mentee Network
Over the past 12 years, I have created a network of people that I mentor. This happened gradually; it started with one person then another one came along the way until it reached 23. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be part of their
journey and make an impact in their lives.
Why do I do this? I believe in giving back to the community. I also believe that the best way to aid the firm’s development is by growing talent. Developing leaders enables the business to grow other people. They have the same belief in developing others, therefore your work effort will pay dividends.
What are the characteristics for my mentees?
- Curious – someone who is interested in learning by asking questions and demonstrates the desire to learn
- Purposeful - they know they want to develop themselves and seek someone to aid them in their development
- Accountable – they respect a mentor’s time and take ownership of the action items and ensure delivery of what they promised
- Willing to take feedback – mentoring will not help if the mentee is not willing to take feedback and take action
- Good at listening – the ability to listen is crucial to the success of the mentor-mentee relationship. Therefore it is important for the mentee to have this characteristic
For each of my mentees, I keep track of the following:
- How we met. Whether it was through work, by introduction, or through someone who reached out to me
- Years of experience. Overall years of experience
- Current position. Tracking upward progress and ensuring that we plan their next move or plan their career
- Potential. Not all people are created equal. I assess their potential and use that information as a factor in deciding where to spend time when my time becomes limited
- Current learning. What are they spending their time on? What are they doing to move themselves forward?
- Last interaction time. The last time we met or interacted via email or text
Why document all this information? I do it because I want to make sure that I track their journey and understand how I can help them. More importantly, as they progress through their career, I’ll transition from mentoring to coaching, because at that point they have a deeper understanding of their capabilities and have the answer with them.
In my many years of coaching and mentoring, I’ve not met anyone that documents their relationship with their mentee. I do this because I care about them. I want to make sure that I have the most up-to-date information when I’m engaged in dialogue.
Recently I was asked if I would be interested in being a mentor to someone in a formal capacity. Because I have never been mentored and have no clue about how it’s done effectively, I said no. This gives me an idea of what should go on behind the scenes if I ever decide to say yes to being a mentor.