February is National Time Management Month. Here are a few more tips from our monthly newsletter archives to assist you with your time:
Managing Meeting Time: Program Managers and Mentoring Pairs
Every month, program managers should touch base (in person or by phone) with each individual in the match. Take 15-20 minutes, depending on the conversation. Here are some questions to ask mentors and mentorees:
- Are you following the guidelines you and your mentor/mentoree agreed upon, such as meeting time?
- Are there any issues with your mentor or mentoree?
- What's been the most beneficial aspect of your relationship so far?
- What's been the least beneficial aspect of your relationship so far?
- On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being "fabulous," how would you rate your mentoring relationship and why?
The key is preemptive maintenance. Identify potential problems and deal with them proactively rather than letting them escalate.
Traditionally, managers will have 20 pairs per program. If managers spend 15-20 minutes per person in each pair, the program manager should carve out eight hours per month (two hours per week) for these "check-in" conversations. These conversations are most critical for matches that have been together for 90 days or less.
In addition to monthly check ins, program managers meet quarterly with all mentors for an hour and quarterly with all mentorees for an hour. The purpose is to get a sense of the group as a whole: concerns, challenges, triumphs. An added benefit is that mentors (and mentorees) learn from each other by sharing experiences and discussing their relationships.
Final Thoughts on Mentoring Programs and Time Management
Timing is a challenge for all of us. It takes commitment to make mentoring programs work.
Here's a good rule of thumb: if you call to cancel a mentoring-related appointment, always have a good reason. And remember-simply havinga good reason is not a good enough reason to cancel. Before you cancel, think about the consequences. Work hard at figuring out a way to make the time now, and everyone benefits in the end.
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