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1 MENTORING: A Kit for Mentees Professional Development Program Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees A

2 Contents Introduction to mentoring 2 About mentoring 2 Formal versus informal mentoring 3 Benefits of mentoring 4 Mentoring stages 5 The mentee s role 6 The mentor s role 6 Developing a mentoring agreement 7 Starting the mentoring journey 8 Take ownership of YOUR mentoring 8 Tips for mentees getting started 8 Setting mentoring and career goals 10 Setting goals 12 Preparing for mentoring meetings 13 Tips for mentor meetings 14 Making the most of feedback 14 Challenges for mentees 16 Talking to others about their career journey 17 Tools and resources 18 Sample mentoring agreement 19 Preparing for subsequent meetings 21 Session review form 22 Sample interview questions (when you are finding a mentor) 22 The ideas bank 24 Some examples from a mentee s ideas bank 24 A structured approach to the final mentoring meeting 27 Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 1

3 Introduction to mentoring Engineers Australia is pleased to oer this resource to support individuals and organisations as they embrace mentoring. Engineers Australia acknowledges the work of Grace O Malley and Sally Davis from Engineering Education Australia (EEA) in providing the basis of this document. This resource, Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees, contains the tools and resources to support you in your mentoring experience. About mentoring Mentoring is a professional, caring and supportive interpersonal relationship between someone experienced and knowledgeable and someone less experienced and knowledgeable. Mentoring facilitates the transfer of knowledge, skills, attitudes, beliefs and values. It supports individual career development opening doors and guiding the mentee through competence development. The purpose is to help the mentee change something to improve their performance, develop skills, learn new ways of doing things and make career transitions. If a person had a positive experience with a mentor in their past, they tend to make a great mentor themselves. What is mentoring? Mentoring is: a commitment the mutual sharing of ideas and information being open-minded listening and responding, engaging in dialogue willing to have assumptions challenged being proactive engaging in self-awareness developing professional skills taking responsibility for your own learning Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 2

4 A great mentor has personal commitment to be involved with another person for an extended period of time. They engage and form open and honest relationships with their mentee. They are characterised by: being accessible, making time with their mentee a priority refusing to allow other commitments to intrude on designated mentoring time being clear and eective communicators modelling the behaviour expected from the mentee being confident in the mentees ability to achieve their goals being enthusiastic and able to inspire their mentee What makes a great mentor? Anyone who has experience, motivation, interest and the qualities of a great role model can be a mentor. However, successful mentors must also have enthusiasm, commitment, openness, warmth, approachability, and be highly conscious of confidentiality. The great mentor therefore: listens, acts as a sounding board and pays attention to their mentee guides their mentee and helps them to find direction and stimulates growth with challenging assignments is supportive and non-judgemental, encouraging the mentee to learn and improve gives the mentee exposure and visibility in the organisation cares and oers counsel in diicult times gives constructive feedback even when it is painful and is honest and supportive Formal versus informal mentoring There is a distinct dierence between formal and informal mentoring, and each requires dierent goals and strategies. Both forms of mentoring are valuable and can coexist. A formal program is usually embedded in a professional development program, managed by a program co-ordinator with clear aims, goals and objectives. Partnering of the two people is either organised by the coordinator or the mentor chooses the mentee. A mentoring agreement forms the cornerstone of the partnership and both parties work within agreed boundaries, timeframes, and structures. The relationship is regularly reviewed for progress toward the established goals. Once the mentee achieves their goals Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 3

5 the partnership is ended and a closure stage is reached, although the parties may choose to continue a relationship or friendship. In informal mentoring the relationship usually begins with an experienced person oering advice, guidance or support. It continues to grow because both parties like and respect each other. The aims of the relationship are often not specific and there is no formal agreement. There is no specific timeline or structure, and either party can choose when and how they relate and when they wish to terminate this type of relationship. Benefits of mentoring Benefits of participation may include: increased skills and knowledge increased potential for career mobility and promotion extended professional network opportunities the development of professional skills increased confidence a supportive environment where success and failure can be discussed and evaluated being challenged to improve and set new goals and objectives encouragement and support to achieve goals exposure to new ideas, practices and people the airing of ideas and opportunity to solve problems recognition and satisfaction mentoring is a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activity Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 4

6 Mentoring stages The mentoring life-cycle: The mentoring relationship can be represented by a series of stages. CLOSING THE RELATIONSHIP BUILD THE IDEA This is where both the mentee and mentor consider the possibility of becoming a mentor or mentee and decide whether to proceed. BUILD THE RELATIONSHIP Building trust and developing a positive relationship. Building commitment. Understanding the roles and responsibilities. Building enthusiasm for the ongoing plan for the mentoring relationship. GOALS Setting goals gives long-term vision and shortterm motivation. It focuses the mentoring and helps organise the mentoring session. By writing down goals and objectives you are taking a big step toward making them happen. Mentoring usually has its own life-cycle and there will be a time when the mentoring relationship might end. You or the mentor might elect to finish for other reasons such as changing circumstances or incompatibility. The next step will be to actually do these things, and keep a record. This is something the mentee and mentor can work on together over time. Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 5

7 The mentee s role It is a mentee s responsibility to take ownership and direction of the relationship. Ideally, the mentee contributes to the management of the relationship by: planning and suggesting or setting the meeting agendas identifying their own needs and sharing with their mentor asking questions and listening completing assigned tasks asking for feedback being flexible with their mentor s time taking responsibility for record-keeping of mentoring meetings and outcomes The mentor s role The mentor is expected to: be a coach act as an adviser or guide be committed and willing to share their knowledge and experiences be a role model build confidence by acknowledging and oering feedback show respect be trustworthy and confidential show empathy Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 6

8 Developing a mentoring agreement Define the mutual commitment Clarify your role by describing how you will behave as a mentor e.g. During our relationship I will: meet with you for an uninterrupted hour each fortnight assist you to reflect on your current role/satisfaction support you in exploring options seek information that may assist you introduce opportunities where possible Ask the mentee to define their commitment e.g. During our relationship I will: prepare for each session by completing all agreed actions provide uninterrupted time for our meetings own the responsibility for my own growth and development seek feedback on my perceptions and actions that relate to our career conversations try new ways of learning and doing Develop an agreed process Formalise feedback on progress Agree on documentation and privacy requirements Formalise the commitments, meeting times and the need for confidentiality. An example is available in the Tools and resources section of this document. Discuss options for development and feedback. Ensure the mentee is aware of the organisation s privacy requirements and is comfortable with these. Tips for mentees Ask your mentor if you can discuss a sensitive issue about your manager Seek advice from your mentor Use the opportunity to work through ideas and strategies with your mentor on how you are going to deal with the problem Listen to the advice or suggestions from your mentor and clarify any points you don t understand Feel that it s ok to discuss any problems you are having Understand that it is your challenge and responsibility to face problems with a line manager as part of your learning and development Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 7

9 Starting the mentoring journey The beginning of any new relationship can be a little awkward and you may feel ill at ease. You do not know what to expect and could feel slightly nervous or uncomfortable. You may know something about the other person or have formed opinions based on other s comments or your own views about how relationships work. Take ownership of YOUR mentoring Mentees need to be an active participant in the relationship. A particularly eective way for you to get the most out of the relationship is to learn to manage up. The concept is that you take ownership and direction of the relationship. Ideally, the mentee manages the relationship by: planning and setting the meeting agendas identifying their own needs and sharing with their mentor asking questions and listening completing assigned tasks asking for feedback being flexible with their mentor s time Tips for mentees getting started Firstly, you need to find a mentor. If you are employed in a large organisation your first point of contact is with the HR manager. Your organisation may well have an established mentoring program. However, if you are not in that situation, you can still find yourself a mentor through other means. Try attending EA events, you could use your networking skills and ask other members. Tips for finding a great mentor Research the engineering practice you are interested in and ask engineers in your organisation if they have contacts Contact them conservatively at first a polite and formal , for example and see who responds Like so many other things, when you find the right mentor, you ll know it Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 8

10 Tips for after you have found a mentor Everyone is nervous at the beginning of a new relationship Your mentor is committed and excited about starting this journey with you You do not have to know everything your mentor will help you to start thinking about where you are now and where you want to go You will work together and set agreements with your mentor about how you want the relationship to work and the process it will take See this as a real opportunity to work through your own problems or challenges with an experienced person Take the lead make sure the workload is yours not your mentor s Respect and value your mentor Trust is established not assumed Accept feedback and use it to your advantage Some of the things you need to do At the beginning of the mentoring relationship you will be required to think about yourself. Below are some questions to get you thinking (also refer to page 11 for more details and questions to think of). Where am I now? Where do I want to go? What are my expectations? What are some goals I would like to work on? What are some of the steps I could take to build my career? What is important? What do I want to achieve? Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 9

11 Setting mentoring and career goals The 70/20/10 rule When asked to analyse and describe their success the majority of successful professionals confirm the 70/20/10 rule. This rule explains that we acquire the learning that helps us in our career progression in the following proportions 70% from real work experiences 20% from the learnings and opportunities provided by the relationships we form 10% through formal skills and knowledge acquisition such as through training programs At the beginning of your career journey the contribution of formal training is probably the most significant factor in your skills profile. As you progress through your career, the role of formal training will diminish and work and relationship experiences will increase in significance until you reach 70/20/10. You may wish to test this rule out for yourself. Ask your mentor or other successful professionals to explain how much of their success can be attributed to each of the 3 elements (work, relationships and training). Applying 70/20/10 to career goal setting The following diagram adapted from the Four Quadrant Model (Palmer and Whybrow) is a planning tool to help you get started. Think about the impact of the 70/20/10 concept to the types of questions and experiences that will assist you in working towards your goals. Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 10

12 1. WHO AM I? 4. AM I GETTING THERE? 2. WHERE AM I GOING? 3. HOW WILL I GET THERE? Look at each segment and the associated questions, these questions will be useful to guide you through your first mentoring session. 1. Who am I? What is my current knowledge? What are my knowledge gaps? What are my skills gaps? What competencies have I attained so far? What experiences have I had? 2. Where am I going? What is my vision of where I could be? What inspires me? What is important to me? What are my goals? What do I want to achieve? 3. How will I get there? What is my organisation s role in supporting me towards my goals? What planning can I do? What are my options? How will I implement change? What is my own role and responsibility? Who do I need to get involved? Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 11

13 4. Am I getting there? Am I getting there? How am I going towards reaching my goals and action plan? Who is holding me accountable? What is my progress? How can I make sure I have regular development conversations? Who with? (Source Gregory Bayne, Total Leadership and Coach Solutions) Use your mentor as a sounding board for your thinking and for your goal setting. You could also ask your mentor to share how he or she has used this approach in his or her own goal setting. Setting goals You need to start setting goals from the beginning of the mentoring relationship. A good place to begin is to think about your overall career goals. Then you can start thinking about what goals you would like to work on in the mentoring program. When setting goals check if they are SMART Specific Measurable Accountable (who is going to do it?) Realistic Time-framed Perhaps, most importantly, your goals need to be written down. As you begin to work with your mentor you can establish some objectives and activities to help you achieve them. You can discuss the goals and objectives and seek their advice and guidance. Over time you will look at your progress and see how you are going towards reaching your goals and begin to set new ones. Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 12

14 Preparing for mentoring meetings Preparing for meetings The mentee is expected to take ownership in the mentoring relationship. It is your responsibility to ensure you have organised the agenda, set goals and started a development plan. You will only get out of the mentoring relationship as much as you are willing to put in. It is important you express yourself clearly and concisely so your mentor knows exactly what your needs are and what you want to get out of the partnership. You may want to talk to your mentor about your learning style and what works best for you. A few days before the meeting you should forward an agenda with the list of topics and issues you want to discuss so the mentor has time to review the agenda and prepare for the meeting. AGENDA FOR MENTOR MEETING Date Meeting time Location Review progress since last meeting: 1. Report on follow-up of XXX What s happening at work right now? New topics to be discussed today: Meeting summary/next steps: 1. Meeting summary 2. Key learnings today 3. Ideas for applying learnings 4. Other follow-up actions e.g. reading assignments. Who does what by when? Confirm next meeting. Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 13

15 Tips for mentor meetings Contribute to the conversation Ask clarifying questions Report back how you applied information and strategies oered previously Express appreciation Let your mentor know how you are benefiting from the relationship Be prepared complete tasks agreed at last meeting Listen carefully and show your enthusiasm and interest Take notes and record the meeting Making the most of feedback Feedback Receiving feedback can be challenging. When another person announces they are going to give you feedback, you can easily feel uncomfortable and concerned, and when you get the feedback it can be diicult to be open and not defensive. A technique to make feedback a valued and important part of your development involves being proactive and working out for yourself the type of feedback you want to receive. If you then ask someone to give you the specific feedback that you have identified you are much more likely to be delighted with the opportunity to enhance your performance. In a mentoring relationship your mentor is going to give you, at times some candid feedback. Think of feedback as a learning opportunity. Actively seeking feedback steps This model shifts the focus from a passive getting unwanted feedback to a proactive please give me feedback about X approach. 1. Self-reflection identify an area about which you are keen to get feedback. What aspect of your work you would like to improve upon? Think of a specific example where you felt you could have been more eective in that area. What worked well? What didn t? What would I do dierently (i.e. get feedback straight away)? Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 14

16 2. Enlist support to work on this aspect (discuss with friendly critic ) Discuss with, for example, a supervisor, peer or mentor your ideas about the aspect you would like to work on Explain your desire and willingness to receive feedback Discuss your own example (from step above) oer your own insights Ask for feedback or input related to that example 3. Plan for an opportunity to practice and to receive feedback Identify future occasions when you can practice this skill area Be specific in identifying what you will focus on Discuss the best way to receive feedback 4. Seek feedback Self-reflect first what worked, what would you do dierently? Oer own self reflection Ask for feedback Some tips for receiving feedback Don t interrupt when another person is speaking Use positive non-verbal skills e.g. smiling, head nodding, eye contact, interested/ neutral facial expressions Ask for clarification if you need more information Remember the person giving feedback may be uncomfortable giving this feedback but they have your best interest at heart Listen carefully and don t become defensive. Try not to think ahead as you may miss important points Compare this feedback with others that you have received Thank them for their insights and advice Summarise the improvements you intend to make Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 15

17 Challenges for mentees As with any personal or professional relationship there are times when things may not be going as you expected in your mentoring relationship. Below are some examples of challenges you could come across. Instigating a mentoring relationship Mentor and mentee having dierent expectations of how the relationship should operate Unavailability of mentor Miscommunication Mismatched mentor and mentee Rotation in workplace one party has moved away so it is no longer easy to meet mentor Not getting adequate direction Dealing with conflicting advice Periodically, as in any relationship, it is useful to take time out to reflect. Below are a few questions to ask yourself. Is it working for me? Why/why not? Am I making the most of this opportunity? Are there any challenges and how can I address them? Is there anything that I can do to improve the relationship? Ending the formal mentoring relationship There could be a number of triggers that might lead to the early conclusion of the mentoring, for example, changed personal circumstances or perceptions that the mentoring is no longer needed. The meeting to discuss the end of the mentoring agreement might feel awkward and so you should plan for it. Some tips include: thinking about what you have gained or learned and being prepared to summarise and share thanking the mentor for their commitment to and enthusiasm for supporting you through mentoring Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 16

18 providing positive feedback to your mentor about their approach to you if you wish to stay in touch, thinking about how to ask for future contact Tips for mentees to deal with challenges Take ownership of the issue or problem Attend to the problem as early as you can Seek advice or help to work out the options and strategies Develop confidence and learn to manage up Ensure you have all the facts Reflect and work out what you are responsible for When discussing the issue, show that you are taking responsibility by using I statements. For example I am feeling disappointed about the lack of contact Confidentiality and ethics Confidentiality is a given in the mentor-mentee relationship. Any breach of confidentiality will cause damage to the trust established between you It is important at the beginning of the relationship that you and your mentor discuss the kinds of things that should be confidential You may decide that you can speak openly and honestly in the mentoring meeting but that nothing you say in your meetings can be shared outside of them Talking to others about their career journey When you first meet your mentor he/she will probably discuss with you their own career journey the highlights and the pitfalls. Hearing stories about people s career journeys is a great way to understand how others have achieved their goals and, if they are open and willing, to hear their disappointments and failures. It is often out of adversity that the most important career lessons are learned. Hearing about someone s career journey can provide an opportunity to understand what they learned from the challenges they had to face in their work. Perhaps you can identify people you find interesting or admire that you might want to learn about either in your own organisation or outside. Discuss with your mentor as he or she may have some suggestions about people who may be good to meet and talk to, and may be able to use their networks to provide you with an introduction. It is a wonderful opportunity to meet someone and to hear about their career journey. Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 17

19 However, to make it easier for that person, you should make a list of questions to ask. This way you are engaged in a conversation rather than just passively expecting them to entertain you. If you treat it as an interview you are showing your willingness to do some of the work. There are some steps in the process of interviewing others that you must be aware of. Once you have identified a person you will need to organise a time for the meeting. In the initial contact you need to be very clear about what you want from them. Explain that you are in a mentoring program and would be keen to speak to them for a short time about their career journey. Let them know you will have some questions and that anything discussed is confidential. If they agree, establish a time and place for the meeting. It is important that you are punctual and prepared. Introduce yourself and give a brief description of what you are currently doing. Then ask them about their career journey. Below are some sample questions to get you thinking (also available in the Tools and resources section). What did you study? What qualifications do you have? Why did you want to pursue that career in the first place? Can you tell me about your first job when you finished your studies? Have you changed your career path at any time? What made you change? What are some of the highlights for you in your career journey? Can you tell me about an example of a very challenging or diicult work experience you have had? What did you do? Would you do it dierently if it happened again? How did you know when it was time to change or move forward? How did you make your career change? Was there someone who inspired you to become who you are today? Who? How did they inspire you? Can you describe something about your work of which you are really proud? Why do you value this? Is there any advice or tips you can give me as I embark upon my own career journey? Tools and resources 1. Sample mentoring agreement 2. Preparing for subsequent meetings 3. Session review form 4. Sample interview questions (when you are finding a mentor) 5. The ideas bank 6. A structured approach to the final mentoring meeting Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 18

20 Sample mentoring agreement FORMAL MENTORING AGREEMENT We are voluntarily entering into a mentoring relationship. As part of the mentoring relationship, mentors agree to: respect and maintain confidentiality at all times be committed and make time for the mentee be supportive and honest provide guidance and support create an atmosphere of openness where meaningful communication and trust can exist assist the mentee to identify their goals and objectives and develop a career plan oer encouragement and direction ensure feedback is both positive and constructive support the mentee to broaden their network by oering introductions and invitations to events finish meetings by making a time for the next one and give adequate notice if a meeting is to be postponed The responsibilities of the mentee include: accepting full responsibility for their own development and actions taking the initiative in mentoring meetings suggesting an agenda for meetings identifying clear goals and objectives to work on discussing with mentors the type of guidance and comments that are most helpful keeping records of issues discussed at meetings maintaining confidentiality No fault Conclusion Either party has the option of discontinuing the relationship. We agree to meet (e.g. every 2 months) for (e.g. 1 hour) We agree to the conditions outlined above, which are valid for 12 months (optional time) from the date below Mentor s Signature Mentee s Signature Date Date Each party retains a copy of the agreement. Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 19

21 Topic Suggested discussion What I need to do Getting to know each other Mentor s interest in mentoring Mentee s expectations Mentor s expectations The organisation s expectations Frequency and length Location Confidentiality Conflicts, problems and ethical issues Cancellation Records/ minutes Mentees learning style Format of meetings Mentees to develop an ideas bank Closing the mentor relationship This is a chance for you both to talk about his or her journey, who they are, their experiences, interests, what they think mentoring is all about for them The mentor can express their enthusiasm for being a mentor, for example, benefits for them, why they want to be a mentor and what they think they can oer I hope to I will support you in If this is a formal and co-ordinated mentor program, the organisation may have guidelines and expectations that will need to be discussed Discuss and agree to frequency and times for meetings. Ensure you meet more frequently at the early stages in order to build trust and confidence. Most mentors meet for an hour or so every couple of months over a 12 month period. Privacy is a major factor in choosing a location. Consider booking a meeting room or boardroom where the meeting cannot be seen or heard. Discuss whether other ways of communicating are needed e.g. by Skype telephone or s This is a cornerstone to ensuring mentoring is a genuine success. Mentees trust in the confidentiality of the entire process is crucial Check that you understand when and how to seek help e.g. from the PDP coordinator or HR representative Try not to cancel. It is appreciated that mentees and mentors are often operationally-focussed and that occasionally a meeting needs to be rescheduled but only in exceptional circumstances. Discuss options for rescheduling The mentee should take responsibility for summarising and recording minutes and outcomes Encourage the mentee to talk about what they want and the best way for them to get it. Some people are visual thinkers, others will need time to reflect. We all have dierent preferences. Any scheduled meeting should be kept professional. Of course the mentor and mentee are free to also meet socially This is a repository to document ideas, potential activities, observations, issues or problems and can form the basis of discussion with mentors. Flag at this point how you want to formally close the relationship when the time comes For example,think about the questions I want to ask Allocate enough time for this stage Do you need an agenda? Do you want it ed in advanced? Does a room need to be booked? What will work for both of you? Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 20

22 Preparing for subsequent meetings FORWARD PLANNING It is useful for both mentors and mentees to have an understanding of what they might want to discuss at their meetings and the process they will use. The mentee is responsible for suggesting an agenda and making sure it is ed to the mentor a few days before the meeting. Developing the mentee is the most significant aspect of the mentoring process and what you want to achieve in future meetings in partnership with the mentee is: setting goals choosing objectives to reach those goals selecting activities to achieve the objectives maintaining regular contact with each other A useful tool to develop and use is an ideas bank. This is a repository to document ideas, potential activities, observations, issues or problems. This can form the basis of a mentee s discussion with their mentor. Sample Agenda AGENDA FOR MENTOR MEETING Date Meeting time Location Review progress since last meeting: 4. Report on follow-up of XXX What s happening at work right now? New topics to be discussed today: 4. Report on follow-up of XXX Meeting summary/next steps: 5. Meeting summary 6. Key learnings today 7. Ideas for applying learnings 8. Other follow-up actions e.g. reading assignments. Who does what by when? Confirm next meeting. Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 21

23 Session review form Mentor: Contact details: Introduction: Following each meeting, a self-reflection process and documentation of the mentoring session is good practice. Session # Session date: Key points explored Challenges Concerns Agreed actions Other notes: Sample interview questions (when you are finding a mentor) What did you study? What qualifications do you have? Why did you want to pursue that career in the first place? Can you tell me about your first job when you finished your studies? Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 22

24 Have you changed your career path at any time? What made you change? What are some of the highlights for you in your career journey? Can you tell me about an example of a very challenging or diicult work experience you have had? What did you do? Would you do it dierently if it happened again? How did you know when it was time to change or move forward? How did you make career change? Was there someone who inspired you to become who you are today? Who? How did they inspire you? Can you describe something about your work of which you are really proud? Why do you value this? Is there any advice or tips you can give me as I embark upon my own career journey? Be aware of the time and ensure you keep to it. If appropriate, and you feel comfortable, you could tell them what has impressed you most, or what you have learned from the meeting. Before you leave, thank them for seeing you and sharing their personal journey. Remember to follow up. Use the method that is most appropriate such as , memo or note and let them know how much you appreciated them taking the time to meet and share with you. Include some highlights or learning you got from the meeting in your thank you communication. Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 23

25 The ideas bank What is an ideas bank? An ideas bank is a repository of strategies and practical ideas that a mentee can draw upon to aid the mentoring experience. Mentoring is more than just having conversations it is about growth and career development. The mentee might find that they get opportunities such as: an invitation to go with their mentor to particular meetings or events access to dierent networks both within the organisation and in the wider engineering industry undertaking a shadowing experience access to additional technical and professional reading and discussion on ideas and concepts The concept of the ideas bank is also an important trigger to promote curiosity and eagerness to learn outside of the mentoring arrangement. It can be used as an excellent planning tool at the close of the formal mentoring agreement, with the mentee planning how to engage in the ideas independently of the mentor. Who keeps the ideas bank? Both the mentor and mentee can have an ideas bank. It is also a useful discussion point between them and can trigger some additional and interesting ideas to assist in career planning, career development and skills attainment. The mentor can ask the mentee to maintain his or her own bank of ideas. Where mentees meet together through their organisation or training, this provides an opportunity to exchange and share ideas about mentoring activities. Some examples from a mentee s ideas bank Career journey interviews The mentee and mentor discuss the idea of talking to experienced people in engineering and related fields about their career journey. The mentor creates a list of possible contacts who might be willing to share their story with the mentee. The mentee develops a list of interview questions and a script to ensure that the conversations are engaging and interesting. The mentee also works out how to approach and especially how to follow up with thanks to those interviewed. The mentee and mentor agree to discuss learnings from other people s career journeys. Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 24

26 Job application skills and resources The mentee and mentor agree to review the mentee s CV or resume, or to look at the skills and processes required for job applications and interviews. Professional development planning tool The mentee and mentor decide to devote a mentoring meeting to working through the professional development using the PDP Competency Guide and the Career Development Guide. Networking events The mentee is invited by the mentor who is a member of Engineers Australia as his or her guest to a local event. The mentor introduces the mentee to other engineers from other organisations who have also attended the event. The mentor and mentee brainstorm a list of other information, training or networking events that might be useful, and discuss how to get more involved in networking opportunities. Competency analysis and discussion The mentee and mentor discuss engineering competencies. The mentee agrees to do some research on the Engineers Australia website and to get details of the relevant competencies for his or her career point. A mentoring session is devoted to understanding the competency, identifying existing work experiences which might contribute to competency development, and identifying other potential work experiences (and how to seek them out) which could assist in building that competency. The session also explores the issue of how to document and keep appropriate records, and the mentor recommends some specific writing workshops oered by Engineering Education Australia (EEA). Achieving the Chartered credential The mentor and mentee devote a session to planning how to progress the mentee towards becoming Chartered. The action plan involves the mentee researching the requirements, investigating the benefits of being Chartered, and planning how to complete the requirements. The mentor agrees to be a sounding board for the mentee as they prepare. Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 25

27 Research into engineering professional development opportunities The mentee is keen to access further skills training and the mentor suggests she does some research into the programs that are available so that they can discuss which ones are most appropriate and how to enlist the mentee s line manager into supporting the recommendation for additional training. End of project reflection and review The mentee and mentor each identify some project milestones which provide an opportunity to do some active reflection on lessons learned, challenges and opportunities for continuous improvement. They set aside some time to devote to active reflection and agree to document the insights. Shadowing The mentor identifies someone or a list of people in the organisation (or in another organisation) with particular skills that would be useful for the mentee to observe. The mentor approaches the person and arranges for the mentee to shadow a particular project meeting. It is explained that the mentee is only to observe the meeting. Prior to the meeting, the mentor discusses with the mentee: how to quietly approach and thank the sponsor what in particular to observe in the meeting how to keep notes on reflections what the mentor would discuss during the subsequent debrief Mentee journal The mentee keeps a journal of the entire mentoring process, using it to jot down ideas, reflections, questions and observations. It is also used to keep records of all mentoring meetings and action plans. It is important to keep documentation of work experiences and the mentee journal can contribute to eective documentation skills. The mentor and mentee can also refer to the journal for ideas and topics for discussion. Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 26

28 A structured approach to the final mentoring meeting Below is an example of a process for the final mentoring meeting with some sample discussion questions. Purpose of meeting Purpose of final meeting: to review achievements and conclude the relationship. Review of starting point of mentoring Refer back to the starting point of the relationship consider: where were you in terms of your career journey when we first met? at that time, what were your main goals for mentoring? thinking back, were there any particular challenges you were working on at that time? at that first meeting, where did you think you would be today? Review the activities involved in mentoring (e.g. discussions, shadowing etc.) Consider the discussions and activities you have undertaken together in your mentoring relationship, and refer to notes or diary if needed. Questions could include: what have been the most significant mentoring conversations we have had together? Why? which activities have been of most benefit to you? Why? Highlights and learnings from the mentoring Discuss highlights and learnings from the mentoring relationship. Questions could include: what have been the main learnings for you over this past period? what have you been doing dierently since we began to work together? what have you achieved since we started working together? Where would you say you were now and how dierent is it from where you were at the start? Engineers Australia Mentoring: A Kit for Mentees 27

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