The best thing any of us have to bring to leadership is our own transforming selves.
R. H. Barton
The Resources section of this site is rich in different kinds of tools and articles but if you are looking for the essentials to learn how as a manager you can support the professional development of your staff, here are the main points:
What is my role?
- Make sure your staff have a professional development plan.
- Look for mentor(s) to help your staff grow in their competencies.
- Make sure that your staff has explicit permission and enough time and resources for the mentorship. This should not be expected of them outside of work hours but should be considered part of their work.
- Help mentor and mentee get to know each other.
How can I support my staff?
- Make sure that there is a clear mentoring agreement outlining the goals of the mentorship and the responsibilities of each party.
- Have regular follow-up conversations about how the mentorship is going and how you can be of help.
- Encourage both mentor and mentee regularly.
- Budget some money for the mentee to be able to work alongside the mentor.
- Provide accountability.
How can I match mentors and mentees?
- Ask your staff member which competencies they want to develop and if there is someone they would like to learn from.
- Facilitate initial conversations to explore if the match would work. Give it time.
- Ask other colleagues for ideas and don’t feel restricted by geographical boundaries. Online mentoring can be effective.
“Acting as a mentor is a very rewarding experience. Every time I mentor someone, I learn new things from them. I also find motivation and satisfaction in being a mentor because I know that passing on my skills and experience to others will leave a legacy in my organisation and beyond.”
Resources for managers:
- Matching Mentors and Mentees – blogpost by D. Carlos
- Formal Mentoring Agreement Template for download
- Mentoring Planning Worksheet – a google doc for you to use to agree on the SMART goals of the mentorship
- Robust Mentoring: Strengthening mentoring in SIL – ebooklet for download
- Guidelines for Mentoring – working document from SIL SOA