Yesterday I wrote about The Need for Being Mentored. Now for some follow up thoughts from yesterday's post showing you how I prepare for meetings with my mentors.
Preparation is a key element to any leader getting the most out of his mentoring relationship. Whenever I meet with Steve or Mike, we never get together unless I have provided them with 5 – 10 pages of preparation notes several days before our meeting.
These preparation notes gives them the info they need to aide their mentoring and coaching of me. Here's that I include in the mentoring preparation that I give to them.
- "Here's What You Said" – This is where I re-write all the notes I took from the last time we met. I rewrite all the key phrases, advice, principles and philosophies they told me. Whenever I write down the Here's What You Said stuff, the mentor is sometimes surprised and says, "Did I really say that?" In a way, they are actually learning through our mentoring relationship because they're seeing their words in print and it helps them to clarify their thinking and content.
- "Here's What I Did" – This is where I outline all of the work I've been doing since we last met. I will tell them what I did to act on the advice and coaching they gave me. I tell them what's happening at work and personally. I do my best to paint a picture for them of what I've been doing and how I'm making progress on my vision, dreams and goals.
- "Here's What I Learned" – This is where I share my distinctions on what I've learned from what they said and what I've done over the past month. I talk about how I'm applying what they taught me and what it means to me.
- "Here's What I Need Coaching On" – This is where I list 3 – 5 areas that I need some coaching and help from my mentor. I will tell him about areas that I'm working on where I need some coaching and mentoring. I'll tell them about a critical decision I need to make, personal relationships stuff, or I'll share with them an area in work and my own leadership that I think I can do a better job. Even though I provide several different coaching topics, I leave it up to my mentor to pick one and give me coaching based on what he thinks I need the most help with and what he can offer the most help with too.
These preparation notes allows my mentors to have a clear picture of where I am, so they can do the best job possible to help me get where I want to go.