“So, what does the mentoring session sound like?” Brendon wanted to know. “If it is different from the direct manager coaching session, what does the manager-once-removed talk about with the team member?”
“First, this is NOT a coaching session, so the mentoring session does not happen as often, perhaps once every three months,” I replied. “This is a longer timespan discussion, so more reflective than action oriented. They talk about the role, the role’s contribution to company, where that fits. They talk about the decisions the team member makes, the problems the team member solves and their capacity to do so. The purpose of this conversation is to create a clearer picture of the team member’s current contribution and their potential contribution. When the team member has a clearer picture of their potential contribution, their current contribution improves.
“In this conversation, the MOR also asks about the aspirations of the team member. Some team members have no idea of their own aspirations, never thought about it. The MOR is looking for intersection between the team member’s aspirations and the company’s aspirations.
“Most of all, this is not a psychotherapy session. The focus is on the work, challenge in the work, learning opportunities, advancement opportunities, to create a vivid picture of where the team member stands and steps forward.
“People feel fulfilled when they can see their future and opportunities to pursue it, and, they feel frustrated when they do not.”