Mentoring Made Easier

One Minute MentoringKen Blanchard is known for co-authoring management books that are easy to read and understand. The One Minute Manager which he wrote with Spencer Johnson has become a management classic. He has attempted to bring the same magic to making mentoring easy to understand by writing One Minute Mentoring with Claire Diaz Ortiz. I started reading the book last week and I feel that I already know a bit more about mentoring despite having been in L&D for a while.

One Minute Mentoring is not a big book, it has just 131 pages. But it does have an engaging story that helps to explain some of the key principles of mentoring.

The book is divided into two parts. The first pact is the fictional aspect with the story of a mentor and mentee. The second part of the book discusses the mentor model used in the book which has the acronym (you guessed it) MENTOR.

I will write more about the MENTOR model next week once I finish the book but let me share with you one key principle that I have already picked up from the book and I think it is really important.

When Diane, the mentor in the book met the prospective mentee called Josh, here is what she said:

“Years ago, my first boss taught me that there are two aspects of working with someone else – essence and form.”

What Diane was suggesting here is that they should first talk about essence which is getting to know each other then focus on form later which deals with the logistics of the mentoring relationship.

Why is this important?

By having the ‘essence’ conversation, they can get to know each other by talking about their world views, values, passions and other more personal things that are important. A conversation like this can help sort out whether they will actually connect as a mentor and mentee. Otherwise, there would be no point in starting a mentoring relationship.

Josh had spoken to two prospective mentors previously and after the first conversation with them, he knew instantly that it was not going to work for him. Being able to discover whether the relationship will work for both parties at the first conversation is important so that two people don’t get together and end up wasting each other’s time.

Form, of course is about structure. The part that is mostly talked about in mentoring, such as having a clear purpose for the relationship, how you will meet, when you will meet, where you will meet, how frequently you will meet and so on.

Enough for now. As I mentioned earlier, by next week when I would have finished the book, I will summarise the MENTOR model. That’s if you have not gone out to buy the book after reading this post and read it before my next post.

Have a great day.

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