Effective Mentoring: 4 Steps to Enhance Team Building & Performance, Employee Retention & Partnerships

I speak for an entrepreneurial and dignified manner of managing your team.

There is one salient feature about team performance; if someone on the team has nothing at stake in maintaining or promoting the team’s performance, she will probably not maintain or promote the team’s performance.

The best driver for performance is creating a really good reason to perform – but most of these good reasons are secrets to you and for the team person.  The trick is to ease and tease this secret out of the team person.

Most people are too unaware, too shy, or too scared to reveal what they really want in a job or team.

You have to pull a ‘ninja-like’ conversation on them to tease out this secret; what do they really want and what will have them not just satisfied, but compelled to perform for their sake and for the team?

Effective Mentoring: Step One: Safe and Workable Partnerships

Making it safe is the first key; to make it safe for them to share this secret with you.  To make it safe, you create a context of fairness and partnership e.g. “I want to create a fair working partnership with you – one where you and I can ascertain and coordinate performance expectations; from me to you and from you to me.  I want these expectations to be clear to both of us – sound fair?”

Of course, I am oversimplifying (there are nuances), but this works because we treat each other with dignity and without letting anybody (you or them) off the hook for accountability to the company vision and objectives.

Effective Mentoring: Step Two: The Art and Science of Asking Questions

Then ask questions about objectives – what objectives do they want or need to achieve and in what time frame and why are these so important to them?

Not going into verbose details here, but with training, you can handle all the different kinds of responses (or lack of responses).

Effective Mentoring: Step Three: Measurable Game with Clear Progress Markers

Once armed with what you want and what they want and in what timeframe, you have a measurable game.

This game may change (and probably will if you manage it right), but you have a quantifiable and observable set of measures that takes the psychoanalysis out of the game.

Effective Mentoring: Step Four: Managing with Less Time and Less Unnecessary Drama

The next step is to make sure that you give them timely results and that they give you timely results.  If the results are not happening, declare or prepare them for a stop loss – a fair ending of the partnership.

The Advantages

  • No psychoanalysis required – having to deal with unnecessary drama
  • Finding out sooner rather than later – if someone is not going to work out on the team
  • Finding out sooner rather than later – if someone IS going to work out on the team
  • Saving time and energy

The Investment

The investment is a few hours a month to engage to see if you are both on track and what course corrections need to be made.

Human Dignity at Work

The greatest benefit and gift of this approach is the dignifying of the human relationships whilst uplifting the accountability to an honorable and rigorous level – in a measurable and observable manner, taking the guesswork out of it or keeping it to a minimum.

If you are curious to learn more about how to set up an effective team, be sure to contact me or follow me on LinkedIn.

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