Mentoring Without a Plan
As someone who has mentored others for 35+ years, I can tell you that I, as a mentor to dozens and dozens of ISD professionals, prefer to have the goals of mentoring articulated.
And I can tell you, based on my experiences, that most Mentees, do not want to articulate a goal-set, and then a plan, with a schedule.
I have had Mentees that either came ready to articulate a goal-set, and then plan a plan with a schedule – or they came in the door – so to speak – with all of that written down and ready to share with me as a first draft. Those relationships worked better – from my perspective. And for the Mentee as well, I believe.
Mentoring is sometimes real work. And yes, sometimes it is more relaxed.
Mentors like a sense of accomplishment. Closing Gaps, Performing Tasks, Creating Outputs – all to Customers’ and Other Stakeholders’ Satisfaction. Sometimes they don’t get a sense of accomplishment until the very end – or they never get it.
So I appreciate that sometimes planning is appropriate at the start – and sometimes it is not. Sometimes the mentee hasn’t quite figured out exactly what they want help with – yet they know they want help of some sort.
But I’ve always been fond of this quote, that I learned in some training project in the early 1980s…
“Having No Plan Is A Plan – Just Not A Very Good Plan”
But, that’s just me.
Even if you can’t create a plan on Day 1, at some point it might be a good time to articulate and document a Goal Oriented Plan of Action.
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