A 3 Day Mentor Training Agenda

By Barry Sweeny, © 2010


The mentor training agenda below has been refined through the experiences of the author who has led numerous mentor trainings since 1988, and then sometimes conduction program evaluations to determine the extent of mentor implementation of the training. As you might imagine, that led to many revisions to improve the training’s effectiveness.

Initially this experience was in a K-12 school district where the author was the Mentor P program Coordinator for four years. Since 1991 the author has served as a consultant and trainer for many organizations of every imaginable type across North America. This Agenda is “tried and proven” to be effective. You can use it with confidence.

There are a few words in this agenda which are links to pages with more information on that topic. However, this training design builds on best practices which are defined and explained throughout this web site. That means that nearly every word could be a link, and that would not be the goal of this page. Please use the top and side bar navigation menus to find those topics where you would like further guidance.

After the Training?

Since the mentoring process and relationships evolve, usually over about two years, the mentor and protege will need on-going support and training. That means, of course, that the initial three day mentor training presented in this agenda is not sufficient to address all the mentoring needs of the pair, nor is it enough to sustain their continuous professional growth.

Separate mentor and protege peer support groups need to be held about each quarter to allow the mentors and the proteges to learn from their peers. Also, joint mentor & protege training may be needed as the pair begin coaching, usually after about the first six months of their relationship. A second reason for a later training is that mentors often need help in shifting their focus from helping the new employee learn the basic job to supporting protege professional growth, particularly in the use of strategies for improving performance and results.


AGENDA
– THREE DAY MENTOR TRAINING

Barry Sweeny, © 2010


DAY ONE

THE NEEDS OF BEGINNING EMPLOYEES

  • Did you have a mentor? What were your needs as a beginning employee? Were they met? If not, why not?
    (collect list of negative factors)
  • The Mentoring Program Purpose and Goals – Other local program information
  • I don’t know what I don’t know – Activity – A poem
  • The research on beginning employee needs, Transition from novice to expert employee – Gordon’s Model of Awareness
  • Activity – Group mentoring to help a volunteer solve an actual work-related problem (Trainer data collection
    on mentor side of the conversation – strategies mentors inherently use. Facilitated discussion on data collected – “HOW did you choose to mentor?)

THE CONTEXT FOR MENTORING

  • Two models for peer assistance: “Best Model” or collaboration and mutual leaning and growth?
  • The three parts of a effective mentoring:the job, the M-P relationship, the developmental mentoring process
  • The impact of mentoring on work structures, culture, and on learning (Mentoring is counter-culture)

THE JOBS OF THE MENTOR, PROTEGE, AND MANAGERS

  • The Roles, Tasks, and Expectations  (activity -“reverse” the negative factors listed above)
  • The Reciprocal Characteristics of a Successful Mentoring Partnership
  • Agreements – Making a Good Beginning
  • The Research on “Telling People to Improve”
  • When IS it OK for Mentors to Give Advice? When can it create defensiveness
  • When Mentor Advice Seems Unwelcome
  • Mentor self-assessment
    #1 – The IDEAL Tasks of an Effective Mentor – Tentative goal writing (See “Tools”)
  • Priorities, checklists and suggestions, building a plan for your work (See “Tools”)

DAY TWO

THE MENTOR-PROTEGE RELATIONSHIP

  • How we work and communicate makes all the difference in the process and the results
  • A developmental relationship which requires mentors to adapt their mentoring methods
  • Strategies for Trust Building – Activity – “What Does Trust Look Like?” – Need for Confidentiality
  • Effective Communication and Feed Back Strategies
  • Asking Purposeful, Powerful Questions
  • Mentor self-assessment #2 The IDEAL Mentoring Relationship – tentative goals setting

THE MENTORING PROCESS:
HOW TO FACILITATE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

  • Natural leadership tendencies – How have YOU mentored during the activities?
  • The Mentor Self-Assessment #3 “Mentoring Styles”
  • The Mentoring Styles – Mentoring Process Model
  • Potential “style” growth areas for an improving mentor and tentative goal setting
  • Comparing and Integrating the Tentative Goals – Writing 1-2 Final Goals
  • Mentor growth plans based on your final goals – How will you be sure to live out your good intentions?
  • How mentors promote the development of proteges
  • Assessing Protege Development and Needs for a Topic – The “CBAM Stages of Concern
    • Diagnosing Protege Readiness Areas for Learning
    • Designing Mentoring to Address Needs and Facilitate Learning
  • Practice Activity – CBAM Scenarios

DAY THREE

COACHING FOR MENTORS & PROTEGES

  • A demonstration, some group mentoring and coaching practice
  • Definitions & a comparison of coaching with evaluation – What is “descriptive”, non evaluative feed back?
  • A model coaching process
  • Pre & post conferences, Best practice guidelines, questioning skills
  • Designing and using observation tools
  • Helpful hints: “Who Ever Does the Thinking, Does the Learning”
  • It’s your turn now – A demonstration lesson and “group mentoring and coaching”. – Practice at observation, data collection and analysis for patterns
  • Practice Activity -Three person teams switch roles using 3 scenarios (1) learner, (2) mentor/coach, (3) observer then mentor of mentor (Observation is practiced by using a video from the actual work place, showing protege at work. This is the basis for the pre-post conferences, hence the need for a scenario to guide the pre conference, before viewing the video.)

THE CLOSING ” GRADUATION” CEREMONY