Mentoring Problem #1: Mentoring Resources

November 21, 2016
Itís never about how big or small your organization is, or even how big your mentoring program is Ė itís always about the mentoring resources allocated proportionally to planning, implementing, and running it.

Whether itís a larger program with multiple program managers or a smaller program with just one program manager, becoming overwhelmed is extremely common. And usually this is due to the pressure of not having enough mentoring resources, including:

  • Needing to create something tangible out of nothing
  • Not knowing how to do it
  • Being pushed to do it by an impossible date
  • Feeling that the more you try to do it that it will take days, weeks, months to accomplish

 Before youíre able to move past this stage, you will need to do one very important thing: acknowledge that you donít know what you donít know.

Imagine that youíre lost in the woods. You donít know any better, so you hope that by walking in one direction youíll eventually be able to find your way out. Itís not even that you donít have a map Ė itís that you havenít even realized that you need one. But one day, overwhelmed by the task ahead of you with no idea how far you have left to go or what the ďendĒ even looks like, you say to yourself, ďWouldnít this whole process be much easier if I actually knew in what direction I needed to go and could see what obstacles lay ahead on that path so I could avoid them?Ē

At that very moment, you happen to wander conveniently by a map stand in the middle of the woods for weary travelers such as yourself. You now have options! They are:

  1. Pick up a map.
  2. Stay lost.

What do you do?

Pick Up the Map

Solution #1:Mentoring Planning

A lot of program managers who donít choose to pick up the map end up making decisions based on what they think they know, and consequently making mistakes because they didnít understand what they were getting into.
The fact is this: if you donít have a plan in place, you are going to come across obstacles you havenít accounted for and needing to compensate for overcoming them. Depending on what this obstacle is, and how many of them there are, your mentoring program may just hit a rocky patch or two or threeÖ or it may never get out of the woods and fail entirely.

Solution #2:Mentoring Software.

Especially when youíre working with larger numbers of mentors and mentees in your program, trying to keep track of and report on your program can become an administration nightmare Ė especially when there are problems you donít know about, and therefore canít correct before they become a program-wrecking nightmare.
So when it comes to managing all the little details, the communications, the reporting, and the keeping of engagement levels across your entire mentoring program, realize that mentoring software may well be a very solid investment for you and your organization. As for how to obtain the buy-in for your mentoring program necessary to get it Ė stay tuned.

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