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The Champion Forum Podcast

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Thank you for listening to the Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! In this week’s episode, Jeff dissects the topic of mentorship from the perspective of the mentor, mentee, and organization. If you ever wondered why mentorship is important and if you should be a mentor or mentee, this is the episode for you. Mentors encourage the personal and professional development of their mentee by sharing their knowledge, expertise, and experience. Having a mentor will help you achieve your goals more quickly than you could on your own. If you want to have a successful mentoring relationship, you will need to develop trust, respect, and strong lines of communication. Done well, a mentoring relationship will benefit the mentor, mentee, and organization. Benefits for the Mentee

  • Exposure to new ideas and ways of thinking.

  • Help to identify their strengths and areas of opportunity.

  • Guidance on professional development and advancement

  • Increased visibility and recognition in your company or industry.

Benefits for the Mentor

  • The personal satisfaction of sharing your skills and experience with a willing learner.

  • The opportunity to practice the basics and remind yourself about best practices.

  • Increases your leadership capacity and confidence

  • See situations without getting caught in the details or emotions.

  • Learn from the mentee.

Benefits for the Organization

  • Develops a pipeline of future leaders who understand the skills and behavior required to succeed within the company/industry.

  • Develops a culture of personal and professional growth.

  • Creates shared desires throughout the organization.

  • Enhances leadership and coaching skills in emerging leaders.

  • Engages and retains peak performers.

The First Mentorship Meeting

  • Start by asking your mentee questions.

    • Question #1: Why is success important to you?

    • Question #2: Where do you want to go from where you are now?

    • Question #3: What are you currently doing well that’s helping you get there?

    • Question #4: What is holding you back from making progress?

    • Question #5: Where do you need the most help?

  • By going through this exercise together, you can better define a mutually productive path forward.

Tips for the Mentor 1. Create a Structure

  • Set up a structure for how often you will meet and how you will conduct your meetings.

  • Establishing the objectives of the relationship up front helps everyone clearly understands what their expectations and responsibilities will be.

2. Encourage but do not coddle

  • It is your mentee’s responsibility to apply the advice and knowledge you give them to their own experiences.

  • The mentor’s overall aim should be to give the mentee the insight and encouragement to apply the information.

3. Help your mentee see the big picture

  • Once a mentee discloses where they hope to be in a given period of time, a good mentor will clarify the big picture by offering suggestions as to what efforts will be necessary to make intended goals a reality.

  • Best of class mentors need to be honest about what it’s going to take for their mentee to get there and ensure that they understand the big picture.

4. Maintain a Positive Attitude

  • Don’t bring your personal baggage into the relationship.

  • Stay focused on your mentee and keep the

5. Give constructive criticism

  • Mentoring another person is one of the greatest gifts you could give them.

  • And there’s almost no better feeling in the world than to help another person accomplish their dreams.

  • There’s an unexplained feeling of accomplishment and feeling rewarded when you have the feeling like you have made a difference in someone else’s pursuit.

  • And the more people you mentor the more the rewards come back to you.

  • If you are not currently mentoring anyone but have the capabilities to do so, I would highly recommend you seek out the opportunity to do so.

Tips for the Mentee

  • Be clear on the purpose of this your mentorship relationship

    • What is the goal of this relationship?

    • What do you as the mentee, want out of the experience?

  • Communicate your expectations with your mentor upfront.

  • Show up on time and be fully prepared.

  • Ask your mentor questions about what you

  • Here are a few questions to consider asking your mentor throughout your relationship:

    • How do you spend most of your time?

    • Is this where you thought you would end up?

    • What was your biggest weakness when you were in the position that I am now?

    • What are you most proud of?

    • What professional organizations are you associated with?

    • What would you do if you were me?

    • What other options are there?

    • Have you experienced something similar to the situation that I am in?

    • Who else would you recommend I connect with about this?

  • In addition to producing high-quality results, excellent mentees know what type of help they need, select the right people to help them, finish tasks ahead of schedule, are mindful of their mentor’s time, are energized and engaging, and give others credit.

Q: Describe your first mentor. What was the best piece of advice you received from them? What goals did they help you achieve? Do you think that you could have achieved your goals without them? Why or why not? Q: What qualities do you think a mentor looks for in a mentee? How well do you think that you exemplify those qualities? What do you think you need to work on to be a better mentee? Q: What goals would you set for a mentorship relationship if you were the mentor? What goals would you have if you were the mentee? Is there a difference between the two lists? Why or why not? What do you think mentors and mentees can do to ensure that they are on the same page when it comes to the purpose of the relationship? Application Activities:

  1. If you have a mentor, take a moment to thank them and find a way to support their dreams and goals. Remember that a mentorship relationship is not a one-way street. The way you treat your mentor reflects how you will treat other people. If you do not have a mentor, thank someone who has stepped in to give you support advice in your career.

  2. You will need different mentors for different parts of your career. Consider where you are now. If you do have a mentor, what qualifications do they have that make them a good mentor for you right now? If you do not have a mentor, what qualifications are you looking for? Make a list of what you need to achieve your goals over the next 5 years and a list of what you will need to achieve your goals over the next 10 years. What differences are there in the two lists? Do you know anyone who might be a good mentor when you are ready to chase your long-term goals? If not, keep an eye out for a suitable mentor and begin building a relationship with them.

  3. How does your organization view mentoring? How do you think your organization would benefit from a plan for mentorship? You may not be in a position to propose a mentoring system, but you can institute a mentorship plan for your team. Consider how you onboard new employees or team members. How can you develop mentoring relationships between those new members and seasoned members of your team? What would those relationships look like? What would the goals of those relationships be? What topics do your seasoned employees have knowledge of that they could pass to new team members? Write down the answers to these questions and work to implement a system so that the next time you hire a new team member you have a way for them to ask questions and get feedback on their performance before it becomes an issue that you need to be pulled into.

Connect with Jeff Instagram: @thechampionforum Facebook: The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher Email:

DECEMBER 4, 2019


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