Monday, December 2, 2013

Multiple Mentoring Moments

When you first begin your mentoring experience and are "learning the ropes" of mentoring, you will most likely hold to the set guidelines given you, including when and how often to meet. The CareerPassport Program suggests that you meet at least once a month for an hour each time, but we also encourage you to look for additional "mentoring moments", outside of the one hour a month guideline.

Recently, the International Mentoring Associations Magazine, Connect, published an article, Multiple Mentoring Moments by Allison E. McWilliams, Director of the Mentoring Resource Center at Wake Forest University. In the article, Dr. McWilliams states that,
“Just as there are many different types of learners, we have also learned over the past few years that there are opportunities to have other kinds of mentoring interactions, mentoring moments, if you will. These mentoring moments do not require the same kind of investment on the part of the mentor, but can still have considerable impact on the mentee.”

As a possible mentoring moment you may want to send your mentee an email about a life experience you had that relates to what they’re currently studying, or you could give them some feedback on something you discussed in a previous meeting with them. You might be surprised on how much impact one email can have. Other ideas might include sending them a thank you card, or calling them on the phone.
One mentoring moment you might consider is inviting your mentee to a business lunch or dinner. This will give your mentee the opportunity to interact with other business professionals, and even though it may only be a one-time interaction, your mentee will have the opportunity to connect with other business professionals to expand their network.
No matter what the mentoring moment may be, Dr. McWilliams suggests that all mentoring moments should have four things:
·        Structure – Mentoring expectations, goals, tools available, and other resources should be clear to both parties.

·         Collaborative Partnerships – As you receive mentoring requests from CareerPassport Students, be sure to think of ways in which you could collaborate with your potential partner. The best collaborative partnerships are ones in which both parties have an open mind and an equal amount to give to the relationship.

·         Interpersonal Interaction – Even though many college students enjoy using technology to communicate, texts, emails, etc. they also crave interpersonal interaction as well. Even if it’s just for a short 15 minutes, meeting face to face helps create trust, and will foster a deeper relationship between mentee and mentor.

·         Assess for Success – Giving your mentee feedback throughout the mentoring relationship, and assessing where they are at with regards to their mentoring goals will help them know where they need to go and what they need to do to achieve success. It is also important to get feedback from your mentee as well. Let them assess how you did as a mentor, and use their feedback to help you improve for your next mentee.
Look for ways to have multiple mentoring moments, and remember the four parts to any successful mentoring relationship. Also, be sure to get feedback from your current mentees. Ask them what you could do better, and help make it a safe environment for them where they can tell you their honest opinion.

References: McWilliams, Allison E. “Multiple Mentoring Moments.” Connect Magazine. N.p., 11 2013. Web 20 Nov. 2013

Monday, October 7, 2013

Using Questions in Mentoring Relationships

Using Questions in Mentoring Relationships

Recently, Connect Magazine published an article about using questions in mentoring relationships by Dr. Barry Sweeny. In his article, Dr. Sweeny talks about “high impact” questions which are used to help mentee’s grow and learn. The high impact question, according to Sweeny, “involves a response that demonstrates higher level, critical thinking, such as revealed by the verbs, compare, contrast, analyze, differentiate, or even evaluate or synthesize. Mentors KNOW they have asked a ‘high impact question’ when there is a pause and then the protégé answers, ‘I’m going to have to THINK about that a bit before I can answer it.’”

Asking your Mentee to analyze or evaluate something they have done in a CareerPassport Track Activity, or in their school work, or extra curricular activities will help them to use critical thinking skills, and if used often enough, your Mentee will expect you to use this type of question often, and thus they will start to think more critically about what they’re doing with their college education.

Another thing Dr. Sweeny talks about is the power of personal pronouns. If you use “We” or “Our” instead of “You” or “Your”, it completely changes the question and can bring about a different result. Look at the following questions Dr. Sweeny uses to see the difference between using “We” or “Our” verses “You” and “Your.”
·        What result do you want to achieve that would be the “best case scenario”?

    What could you do that could lead to the best case?

    What problems might occur for you that would prevent achieving the best result?

    What can you do that might avoid problems or obstacles?

    Are there any other alternative routes you could take to that same best case result?

    Which of your alternatives is most likely to lead to that result?

    How will you start the process?
“Although it seems so subtle, there is a powerful effect in using the pronoun ‘you’ this way. Here’s what it accomplishes:

• The ‘you’ assumes the protégé can figure out the problem and what would be the best solution (with the mentor’s questions as a guide).

• The ‘you’ keeps the ownership of the problem and the responsibility for that decision making and solution finding with the protégé.

• It allows the mentor to ask the kind of open-ended questions that the mentor knows a more experienced person would ask themselves. Done a number of times with different problems, the protégé will begin to anticipate the questions to be addressed. This shows that the protégé is starting to internalize those questions and learning to think that way as well, which is the goal.”

Now if you were to look at these same questions, using the pronouns “We” or “Our” instead of “You” or “Your” it changes the intent and purpose of the question. According to Dr. Sweeny,
“If the mentor is concerned that the protégé lacks sufficient experience to know some of the answers and can NOT analyze and solve the problem alone, what should the mentor do that is most helpful? The answer is that the mentor should change the personal pronouns in the questions from ‘you’, which excludes the mentor from participating in answering the questions, to more inclusive pronouns like ‘we’, ‘our’, and ‘us.’ Switching to inclusive personal pronouns has the effect of including the mentor in the ownership of the problem, and it keeps the mentor in the thinking, and decision making process. The net result of including the mentor in the process is that it allows the mentor to let the protégé do as much as possible, but… It also allows the mentor to reflect and wonder about things out loud and, thereby to model expert thinking and choice making, all of which would be invisible to the protégé unless the mentor is part of the process, ‘unpacking his or her own thinking.’”

Make sure to read the full article on Connect Magazine's website and learn how to use questions effectively in your mentoring relationship. Asking questions in the beginning of the mentoring relationship can be very effective in determining where you and your Mentee want to go in your Relationship.
References: Sweeny, Barry Dr. “Using Questioning in Mentoring Relationships.” Connect Magazine. N.p., 10 2013. Web 25 Sept. 2013

Monday, August 5, 2013

Goal Evaluation

Evaluating your Mentee’s Goals

Now that it’s getting closer towards the end of your mentoring relationship, it may be a good time to evaluate how you and your mentee are doing on your goals. In the beginning of the mentoring relationship, you and your mentee wrote down three goals that you’d like to accomplish during your six months together. During your next mentoring session, try to go over those 3 goals again, and evaluate how you are doing.
Mentee Goals
The Mentoring Group recently published an article, Mentee Goals Revisited by Dr. Linda Phillips-Jones, where she discussed 5 common mistakes that are made when formulating mentee goals. Check to see if your mentee's goals fall under any of these categories.

1. Mentees avoid goals altogether - If your mentee has not yet filled out The Goal Setting Worksheet, it’s not too late. Download The Sheet, and during your next mentoring session help them set some short term goals that can be accomplished before the "Ending Celebration" in October.

2. Goals are too large or ambitious - Although we don’t want to discourage students from dreaming big, it might be helpful for you to show your mentee the smaller goals they will need to achieve first before they can accomplish the big ones.

3. Goals are too limited or boring - Sometimes students will set goals that don’t stretch themselves enough, they set goals they know they can achieve easily so that they can say that they’ve done it. Often, students don’t know what kinds of goals to set, so the goals they end up writing turn out boring, and don’t relate to the CareerPassport Program. Help your mentee set those goals that will really stretch and motivate them by checking out The Goal Setting Tips Sheet.

4. Few relationships measure progress toward goals - It’s important to hold your mentee accountable for their goals, you both wrote and agreed to them, now is the time to measure the progress that has been made, and then determine what else can be done before the Ending Celebration.

5. Pairs spend too much time choosing and then wordsmithing goals - Agreeing on a set of 3 goals should not be a difficult thing. If you find you’re spending too much time writing your goals together, then you’re working too hard. Goals should be solidified and agreed upon before the start of your first mentoring session together.
There are two pieces of advice that Dr. Phillips-Jones gives to help with evaluating and setting goals.
      1. Set SMART Goals - You may be familiar with this acronym, but goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and tangible are goals that work well. Having a SMART goal will also ensure that your mentee can get the most out of their mentoring relationship.

       2. Start Somewhere - You can always edit, adjust, and fine tune your goals throughout your mentoring relationship. The most important thing is to start somewhere. Maybe you’ve set tentative goals, but they need some editing, now is the time for that. With only 2 or 3 more mentoring sessions left, discover with your mentee where you are, and what further work is needed to get you and your mentee where you want to go.
      Check out the full article.
References: Phillip-Jones, Linda Dr. "Mentee Goals Revisited." The Mentoring Group. N.p., 06 2010. Web. 17 Jul. 2013.<>.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Seven Habits of Highly Successful Mentors

In correlation to Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, recently Rene D. Petrin of Management Mentors wrote an article, Corporate Mentoring Tips: 7 Habits of Highly Successful Mentors & Mentorees. As you mentor UVU students, think about these seven habits to help you develop and strengthen your mentoring relationship.

1.      Active Listeners - Active listening requires real energy and focus. Active listeners give non-verbal cues that they are listening, take notes, repeat back what they’ve heard to ensure understanding, and ask thoughtful questions. Being an active listener will show your mentee that you really care about them and their success.

2.      Dedicated to Their Success - As a mentor, being dedicated to your own success shows that you really understand the mentoring model and that if done properly, it can provide successes for both your mentee and yourself.

3.      Dedicated to Others Successes - Along with the desire for your own success, powerful mentors can see how their role affects the bigger picture. If you really understand that when you help your mentee to be successful, they in turn will play a role in making their own team successful, then you'll realize that in your own way you are starting the chain of a powerful "paying it forward" model.

4.      Curious - Being a mentor requires you to figure things out and make it work. If your mentee comes to you with a problem, a curious person will think, “how can I make this work?” It is important to be curious and to have the desire to find a way to make things happen.

5.      Engaged with Their Surroundings - A powerful mentor can see their piece in the bigger picture. They can visualize how they can play a role in their mentee’s success and beyond. Having this big picture view of the world can help you to see that there is more than just the two of you in the mentoring relationship.

6.      Willing to Step out of Their Comfort Zones - There may be timeswhen you’ll have to tell yourself to just give it a go. Your mentee may come to you with a problem or idea that you’re not comfortable with at first, but if you are able to step out of your comfort zone you’ll be able to think outside of your own box and figure out a way to help your mentee.

7.      The 3 R’s: Responsible, Respectful & Ready - Aside from imparting your wisdom to your mentee you are also serving as a role model. The more responsible, respectful, and ready you act, the more your mentee will reciprocate towards you. They will not only learn from your experience, but they will also learn what it means to act as a professional.

Each of these habits is a continual learning process. You may be excellent in some, and need improvement in others. As you work with your mentee you may find that you are developing these habits without realizing it. We are very appreciative for what you are doing for our students and our program. Thank you for being a mentor. 

References:  Petrin, Rene. "Corporate Mentoring Tips: 7 Habits of Highly Successful Mentors & Mentorees." Management Mentors. N.p., 06 2010. Web. 3 Jul. 2013.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Debunking Myths About mentoring

When you think about the term "mentoring" there can be some confusion as to how it all actually works. Recently Forbes Magazine published an article titled “Debunking Common Mentoring Myths” with the purpose of clarifying some of the myths about mentoring. One myth they talked about was that mentors choose their mentees. This can be true for some programs, but it is not true of The CareerPassport Mentoring Program (CPM). CPM is a student-driven program where mentees search the database for a mentor, not the other way around.
A second myth described was that you only need one career mentor. The truth is that we all go through many stages, and while some mentors may be excellent in one area, they may not be in another. UVU students participating in the CPM Program have the opportunity to have a different mentor every six months.

                Another myth mentioned was that you are either a
                mentee or a mentor. The truth is that mentors learn a lot from their mentees.
                A truly successful mentoring relationship is one in which both parties learn from one   

The last corresponding myth is that mentoring is a formal relationship with the mentor driving the relationship. Although the CPM Program has a formal structure, the mentee drives the relationship, and many mentoring relationships can turn in to lifelong friendships.
Mentoring Success Stories
There are many success stories taking place because of great mentoring relationships; each story is inspiring and unique. Recently Denzel Washington wrote an article entitled “The Mentors He’ll Never Forget” about those individuals that inspired him that appeared in Guideposts Magazine. Denzel talked about Billy Thomas, a leader at the Boys Club Denzel attended as a youth. He said he would try to emulate Billy in every way he could because he admired him so much. He then goes on to talk about Jack Coleman, the owner of a barbershop where Denzel grew up. Coleman gave him a job sweeping floors and he taught him the value of hard work. 
The next Mentor Denzel talks about is Mr. Underwood, his high school English teacher. He would have his class read the New York Times every morning, and it really taught Denzel about the world around him. One of the most influential mentors Denzel talks about is his public speaking professor at Fordham University. He had Denzel do a scene from Hamlet, and even though it scared him, he soon really loved being on stage.

Spread The Word

If you have any mentoring success stories from the CPM Program we’d love to hear from  you. Send your experiences to  We also encourage you to pass along  your mentor referral card to your colleagues, family and freinds who you think would be a great mentor for our program. Share with them your experiences and the benefits you gain from being a part of the CPM Program.
 Quast, Lisa (Jan 14, 2013). Debunking Common Mentoring Myths, Forbes Magazine.
Washington, Denzel (Apr 21, 2011). The Mentors He’ll Never Forget Guidepost Magazine.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Welcome to the CareerPassport Mentoring Blog. At the first of each month we will be posting helpful mentoring ideas, upcoming events, and more to help guide you through the mentoring program. We encourage you to follow this blog by email for easier convenience. You can do this by entering your email in the text box under “follow by email” on the right side of this page.

Suggested Mentoring Topics and Activities
Hopefully you’ve had your first meeting with your mentee, and have begun your regular monthly mentoring sessions. Summer can get busy with everyone’s vacation plans and the great holidays so we encourage you to make your mentoring sessions a priority throughout the summer. We’d like to remind you that on the website we have a list of ideas for topics and activities that you could do for each track. Here is a list of topics and activities for the Self-Discovery Track:
·        Help your mentee identify passions in life and in potential work areas

·        Discuss how your work environment affects your personal life

·        Find possible career options within your mentee’s areas of leisure interests

·        Encourage your mentee to identify his/her personality, interests and character strengths

·        Help your mentee identify entrepreneurial skills he/she possesses or may want to develop

·        Ask your mentee about his/her leadership abilities and experiences

·        Have your mentee describe their strongest skills and abilities
Click here to see the suggested ideas and topics for other tracks
We emphasized earlier that where you meet can be very important. When you have the opportunity and availability, please meet at your place of work or another work environment at least a couple of times so that your mentee can have the opportunity to get acquainted with your job setting. Learning about the balance between career and other interests and responsibilities is also an important way you can inspire your mentee. We also encourage you to join us here at UVU for an activity or an event. It doesn’t always have to be a professional setting. Here are some activities going on at UVU in May that you might enjoy together: For more events click here
May 9                   Baseball vs. NYIT

May 10                MMA Showdown

May 11                “Trouble with Tricks”

May 14                Art of our century: opening reception

May 16                Woodturning Symposium

May 21                Business and Economics Forum
Building the Relationship
As you continue working together, remember that you are building a relationship, and relationships are built on stories. Corporate Alliance has the model, learn, serve, and grow which Jared Stewart, CEO of Corporate Alliance demonstrated with his sister in a lecture he gave at UVU in March. Try the following activity they demonstrated to help build your relationship.

Share with each other information from the three following areas:
·         Share a train, plane, or automobile story. Starting with a personal story helps plant the seed to growing your relationship.

·         Share what you are doing for a living or in your college major now, and what your future career goals are. This helps you understand where each other is coming from.

·         Share three current needs you have. In order to serve each other effectively, it’s important to know what each other really needs. As you each share your needs, try to listen carefully and decide how you can serve each other.    
The CPM Team
*Corporate Alliance networking model presented by Sarah Stewart at UVU Executive Lecture Series March 21, 2013