In my last post I gave you several pieces of evidence that make the case for mentoring within organisations. I included research, data and statistics that you can use to present a rational, logical case.
But we’re talking about people here. And people aren’t always rational and logical.
To engage people with the idea of mentoring, you need to help them make an emotional connection as well as a factual one.
One way to do that is to encourage them to assume the mentoring programme will be successful and think about what will different – for the mentors, for the mentees and for the organisation.
That is an activity I often carry out at the start of any mentoring workshop I run. Here are some of my favourite responses:
What will be different for Mentors?
“We would have more time to focus on strategy and the future”
“Holidays would be more relaxing”
“I’d get personal satisfaction from helping”
“I’d get to know and understand my team better”
What will be different for Mentees?
“They’d be in a better place. They’d have a sense of fulfilment”.
“They’d realise they’d missed something before”
“They’d feel empowered and energised”
“They’d be more confident to express their views and different perspectives”
“They’d be expressing more ambition saying things like “I’m ready for a bigger role”
What will be different for the Organisation?
“More internal promotions”
“More challenge, less compliance”
“Shareholders would see us as successful”
This approach is helpful for a few reasons:
1. It develops a positive, observable picture of future success.
Bringing mentoring to life in this way makes it more real and meaningful. It helps individuals make an emotional connection to the results and energises them to take action.
2. It helps identify the language and phrases that are meaningful to them.
Business is full of jargon and corporate speak that, at best, does little to capture the imagination. At its worst it can be a definitive turn-off. By using their own words, you will be able to draft emails and other communications about the mentoring programme that get their attention.
3. It allows you to define how you will evaluate the success of the mentoring programme.
Once you’ve got a detailed description of what success would look like, you can then go on to ask “How would we measure that?” That will help you decide the qualitative and quantitative measures you will need to have in place and any benchmarks you need to set up.
So, let me leave you with a final question “Suppose you were successful in designing and delivering a mentoring programme for your organisation…..how would you know?
In my next blog post I’ll share with you the 4 steps you need to take to design and deliver a mentoring programme that will deliver that success.