A Mentoring 360 series following the progress of implementing a mentoring programme for women in Papua New Guinea

I thought it would be interesting (and helpful) to share the journey I am on with establishing a mentoring programme for women working in Papua New Guinea, following on from my earlier post about this exciting and fulfilling initiative.

* This will be of especial interest for those of you who are either contemplating a mentoring or coaching programme in your organisation or you have a programme and would like to put more structure in place and enhance the quality.

Each post in this series will outline the steps taken to design, implement and track the programme’s impact and outcomes. These steps are informed by my High Impact Mentoring Model (HIMM), which is detailed in my latest book, Mentoring 3600: A 10-Step practical guide to designing and implementing your mentoring programme and getting it right the first time.


Develop a Work Plan and Stakeholder Consultation

  1. Create a work plan that outlines the deliverables, actions to take for each deliverable, who is responsible and the timeline
  • This is an invaluable activity as it helps you regularly check progress, enables all project team members to track the task requirements. Dates often need to be shifted and the workplan updated (Chapter 1 of my book presents my HIMM and describes each step of the model in more detail – the deliverables)

2. Consult with key stakeholders

  • For this project, an inception workshop was facilitated, inviting representatives from across different sectors of PNG who have a vested interest in mentoring and could offer their views and ideas
  • A mentoring programme diagnostic framed the workshop discussions by asking participants questions to prompt consideration of programme requirements – for example, mentor selection processes, mentor-mentee matching processes, evaluation methods (Doing the Diagnostic is covered in Chapter 2). And here is a link to an article I recently posted on LinkedIn about the benefits of conducting a diagnostic as the first step in your programme design
  • Your key stakeholders may be your senior leadership team and other department heads who will sponsor the programme and be actively involved in its implementation and future sustainability (this is covered in Chapter 4 of my book).

If you are planning to establish a mentoring or coaching programme in your organisation and would like to know more about how you can undertake this pretty comprehensive project, get in touch with me to find out how I can help you. Also, my book, Mentoring 360, will step you through the programme design and implementation process, so you know what to do and how to do it.


The EOI Application Process

In my first post in this series I outlined the first stage of the project I am involved with in establishing a mentoring programme to support female alumni in Papua New Guinea. In Part Two I talk about the call for mentors and mentees and the process you can use to manage this effectively.

The mentor and mentee application process is part of Step 4 in my Mentoring 3600 Programme Design model. And as the title of this article says, there are two critical questions you need to ask in both applications:

The Mentor’s EOI:

  1. What skills and experience do you bring to the mentor role?
  2. What do you hope the mentee gains from the mentoring experience?

The Mentee’s EOI:

  1. What specific areas would you like support in from a mentor?
  2. What are your career goals?

There are several other questions that make up your EOI application forms; they are all important questions to ask the prospective mentor and mentee. Your application forms are important documents within your programme model as they help in your mentor selection and mentee identification.

Sometimes you can receive applications that quickly illustrate the person isn’t ready for the mentor role yet or they don’t fit your mentor selection criteria (another process in Step 4 of the Mentoring 3600 model). Or perhaps the mentee applicant is looking for very specific support which your current mentor pool cannot help with.

Both of these scenarios are still fantastic opportunities for you to have a conversation with the mentor applicant, explain who you are looking for in your mentors, and suggest they consider applying again in the next programme round, giving them time to consider the skills they need to develop based on your mentor selection criteria.

For the mentee applicant who is too narrow or specific in the support they seek, talk with them about the purpose of the mentoring programme. They may be unclear about this and therefore haven’t considered broader areas of development that they could benefit from receiving support in through mentoring.


The Meet and Greet

The EOIs have been received and collated, the mentor-mentee matching process has been completed, now it’s time for participants to meet each other. Your ‘meet and greet’ event is an important, fun component of your mentoring programme as it is the opportunity for the participants to meet their respective mentoring partner and connects the whole group.

The Timing and Content: The best timing for your launch (meet and greet) event is just prior to the mentor and mentee training workshops. And it is another chance to discuss the programme expectations, emphasise the benefits for the mentors and mentees, and review key programme activities and dates.

The Launch Opening: The PNG mentoring initiative was opened by Australian Deputy High Commissioner, Ms Caitlin Wilson. Arrange for your CEO or a senior leader to open your launch. This communicates the quality and strategic positioning of your programme and demonstrates the advocacy and support for the programme going forward.