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As part of leading HP service management profession mentoring committee, I would like to register my thoughts as to why joining mentoring program would be a great value add and rewarding experience to enhance your career.
Most of us are busy in our existing roles delivering engagements or projects at a utilization of over 70 – 80 % that leaves us very little time for learning, exchanging views and developing new skills. We do not have the luxury to experiment on areas that we are interested and get exposure to people who have done that well in the past. So the aspirational area of our interest and passion is at the mercy of some miracle happening, to get us move closer to our goals.

Here is where I think organization should embark on Service Management mentoring program that can be handy and of immense value provided if you know your exact needs.
Here are my 8 Tips to make the Mentor-Mentee program effective once you get yourself signed.

1. Clear articulated requirements of mentee

Like every project, as a mentee ensure you have clear articulated requirements of what you would like to learn, what skill you would like to develop and outcomes expected after the tenure. I see some extract information like become expert on ITSM, ISO/IEC 20000. There is no clarity as to what your current level of knowledge expertise is and what you would like to achieve in the areas mentioned [Certification, Practitioner approach etc]

2. Develop overall plan, milestone and outcomes

In consensus with the mentor, mentee should develop and overall plan with milestone and outcomes expected. Mentee has to do the homework and ensure that mentor`s time is judiciously used while executing the plan. It is best to have at least once a month connected of 1 hour with planned agenda, experience sharing and resources that could be leveraged for further learning.

3. Commit time and frequency with Mentor

As a mentee, it is essential to commit time and agree on a definite frequency of synch up with the mentor to discuss on areas subjected to learning and development. Identify what time slot and date works better accommodating to the appropriate time zone. I don’t like it when people don`t turn up on agreed date and time waste valuable time.

4. Adopt multiple channels of communication

While face-to-face is always recommended because we are globally diversified, phone calls and virtual rooms also work. In addition use email, chat and discussion forums to enhance your interaction with your mentors and community. This could make it quite a memorable experience.

5. Set up mutually beneficial agreement

Mentoring is a two way process in which both the mentor and mentee both needs to get benefitted. This means that every mentee should see how he/she can give back something for the mentor to get benefitted. This could be a different area where the mentee is expert at or provide aspects of support that would be needed for the mentor

6. Mentors stand to gain the most!

I have been a mentor myself for several years mentoring people from different geographies, skill set and experience. I have personally had a great learning experience culturally and also improved my people management and consulting skills. So if you are a mentor, be assured that this exercise will help you gain in all dimensions of overall development
Rewarding relationships with mentor and mentee happens when it is dealt with openness and absolute transparency. It is absolutely ok to say, I would not be able to help or share those information instead of beating around the bushes. Similarly, after a few conversations if the mentee feels that there is a disconnect with the way things operate, it is worthwhile to clarify and terminate with mutual consensus

8. Cash in on key lessons at your work

The best way to remember concepts is to put them to judicial use in your own work environment. So cash in on your key lessons and find ways to create value in your existing work. This ascertains value of this program to your manager.

These 8 steps have helped me and people I know gain immensely during a mentoring relationship. If you have had your experience, do share us your best practices that we all can imbibe in our future engagements.