Leaders Letter Newsletter Leadership

Leaders Letter 122 – My Mentor Process

Dear Leaders, this week I am going to share one of my proud secrets.

My mentor process, whether it is official or unofficial. 

Mentorship for me is one of the most important and responsible work streams I have, mentors have been incredibly important in my personal growth (not just professional) and it is something I feel is a privilege to be a mentor or when someone thanks you for being a mentor, especially when it is unofficial and goes undiscussed. 

Get To Know The Person Then The Professional

With my mentees, I like to get to know them, their motivations and understand how they are looking to evolve their careers. 

Very often many don’t know what they are looking for it needs to be something that is prized out and evolved over time. 

It’s A Gift

I will gift my mentees, with a book I know will help them (audible credits are quite common now) and a notepad, very often it is a ‘nice’ notepad they will write in with pride and want to use.
Believe it or not, it is an investment I feel is essential in building my relationships. Pad and pen connects far more for most people than writing notes, and this comes from a person who has over 5500 apple notes. 

I will ensure mentees tell me the rhythm they would like to follow, if they are routine based and how can we make it fit into both of our routines and then how frequent it will be. 

What You Are, What You’re Not

It is important a mentor is not a therapist and often not a coach, you can coach but you have to understand when you are going to be there to listen or there to guide, very often it is nudging or talking about your experience that will help. 

Remember Mentor Not Coach

Remember a mentor is about softer skills and long-term change often with a deadline, and a coach is about hard goals and skills change by a deadline.
If you are fixing skills and having training sessions you are likely coaching and that is a whole different responsibility you should formally sign up to. 

Shared Toolkit

I offer my templates, often I have shared them here and I push my mentees to try and share the knowledge and positive information they have gained, when I learn something I need to teach it, I find very often those who teach again not only help to make small improvements around them but help to share the dopamine rush you get from winning and co-winning. 

Most often I will receive a message or an email with quick check-ins and points they’d like to run through or the best ones are when you get a hey, I did x and y worked. These messages I keep these in my hype file (the file where I receive thanks, compliments and heartfelt messages) and I will always go back and re-read this when I am not having the best days or weeks. 

Not Everyone Should Mentor 

I am not saying everyone needs a mentor (I do however think you miss out without one or a team of mentors, more mentors more experience = better diverse thinking) and some people won’t want to mentor. What I love to see is when individuals feel like they can become a mentor and invest their time, effort and energy into others, I often say to start internally at your work and then look at your network and people will seek you out. 

The best mentors for me (personally) were the quiet ones, the ones who weren’t shouting on LinkedIn or speaking at every conference but the ones who could make a difference in their jobs and then accidentally stumbled across mentorship. These people take it as an honour and invest heavily in mentorship. 

There are natural ends to mentor relationships, something to keep in mind mentors learn just as much from mentees as they teach so if sessions are reserve, great! 

Have a great week and remember if you can mentor and you feel like you can add value to someone do it, it is so rewarding, if you are looking for a mentor check your network, ask friends for recommendations and importantly take micro-moments to mentor where it feels right. 


Danny Denhard