Have you ever been requested to mentor one other project manager?
It’d sound a bit daunting, however I’ve been doing it for over 15 years, and I’m right here to inform you that it’s an excellent alternative (for each of you). And it’s attainable to be an excellent venture administration mentor, even should you don’t have any earlier mentoring expertise.
Being requested to mentor somebody implies that your expertise has been acknowledged as a venture administration skilled (not essentially a certificates holder, however somebody who is aware of do the job nicely).
Whether or not the request comes about on account of a casual dialogue or a proper company scheme, you need to take the dedication to be a mentor critically.
It’s additionally an excellent profession alternative for you – working with a extra junior venture supervisor can provide you a special perception into venture administration matters and they’re more likely to have completely different experiences to share with you as nicely.
On this article, you’ll discover ways to strategy mentoring a venture supervisor and a few sensible ideas that can assist you be a unbelievable mentor to your new mentee (sure, that’s a phrase!)
Who’re you mentoring?
Skilled and mid-career professionals are sometimes requested to mentor junior venture managers or entry-level professionals.
Maybe you’ve been requested to mentor an apprentice, or somebody new to the PMO or workforce. Maybe you’ve been requested to mentor a middle-grade supervisor with a view to serving to them obtain a promotion.
Why do they need a mentor?
Challenge managers desire a mentor for many professional development causes. I mentor venture managers in any respect levels of their careers and listed here are some widespread the explanation why folks guide an influence hour with me:
- Profession planning, CV/resume assessment, getting ready for a promotion or reviewing profession targets
- Simply acquired a brand new job and need to make an excellent impression within the first month
- Navigating the troublesome, messy folks stuff of stakeholder engagement, communication and leadership skills
- Desirous to not be alone as the one particular person of their division who does venture administration.
That final level about wanting a second opinion or a sounding board whereas being the one particular person within the workforce who does a venture administration function won’t apply to you if you’re mentoring somebody inside your organization.
Nonetheless, you may discover that as a venture supervisor within the PMO, you might be mentoring others throughout the enterprise who’re doing initiatives however who don’t work within the PMO – they’ll really feel the identical concerning the function being isolating.
Mentoring will not be teaching
Mentoring will not be teaching, however to be trustworthy, I’m taking a mentoring certification in the intervening time and we’re studying most of the similar fashions and theories which are lined within the teaching books I’ve learn.
One of many prime advisable books on my course is The Mentoring Manual by Julie Starr, and it’s acquired hardly any particular idea in in any respect.
My takeaway from that is whereas teaching is a selected, accredited ability, mentors can nonetheless profit from realizing a little bit of idea. Nonetheless, should you don’t, it doesn’t matter as a result of mentoring is extra about sharing your venture administration expertise and asking questions to assist the mentor develop.
I’ll offer you a (fictional) instance.
Mentee: I’m combating apply venture high quality administration as a result of nobody appears to need to make investments any time in it.
Coach may say: Inform me extra about that.*
Mentor may say: OK, inform me what you’ve tried to this point and should you like I’ll inform you what I’ve achieved that’s labored previously… Now lets put a number of concepts down about what you’re going to do within the assembly subsequent week and subsequent time we meet you may fill me in on the way it went?
*I’m not a coach, however teaching rules are that the coach doesn’t present options, as an alternative, serving to the coachee to provide you with a plan and route ahead themselves.
One of many massive worries that many new mentors have is that they don’t know if they’re worthy of taking up the function.
When you’ve got even a little bit bit extra sensible expertise than the particular person you might be mentoring, you’ve acquired opinions, steerage and recommendation which you could share.
So, now that you’re getting ready to mentor a colleague, what must you keep in mind? Listed here are 9 ideas for ensuring you could be a good venture administration mentor.
1. Agree the dedication
What, precisely, are you each signing up for? Focus on what you each can decide to as you might discover that your potential mentee desires much more than you may provide.
It’s best to each be pleased with the extent of dedication required. This could possibly be something from a month-to-month phone dialog to a weekly face-to-face assembly so it’s necessary that you just agree one thing that’s going to give you the results you want each.
You will have to construct some flexibility into this. For instance, if considered one of you is managing a venture that’s going by way of a very busy time or that includes a variety of journey you then won’t be capable to meet up in your common slot.
Most mentoring relationships can accommodate this however it’s price speaking about it earlier than it occurs.
A proper mentoring program may advocate assembly for an hour a month, or, if the particular person is a brand new starter, an hour per week or extra. The mentoring function could be fairly a dedication.
Even when your association is casual it’s price documenting what you could have agreed so that you’ve got some sort of ‘contract’ in place and also you each have a transparent thought about what is predicted.
Learn subsequent: Questions to ask a project management mentor
2. Be accessible
When you’ve agreed to mentor a colleague, just remember to could be accessible for them and never simply within the pre-agreed mentoring classes that you’ve got organized. It’s attainable that they may have points that they need to focus on with you at instances exterior of these formal conferences and it’ll profit you each if you may make a while in your schedule to speak to them after they want it.
Equally, should you hear of a possibility or one thing that impacts the venture that they’re engaged on, don’t wait till your subsequent scheduled dialogue. Give them a name and chat it by way of.
3. Provide recommendation
Mentoring isn’t nearly listening to their issues and as we noticed above it’s not teaching. In the event that they ask for recommendation, give it.
Your mentoring actions may additionally embody them work shadowing you to see the way you facilitate a gathering, for instance.
You might have a variety of venture administration data to share and your expertise is among the the explanation why this particular person selected you as their mentor. After all, simply since you give recommendation don’t anticipate them to take it!
They’ll suppose by way of their very own decision-making process and should select to do one thing else and that’s fantastic – don’t take it personally!
4. Be confidential
The connection between a mentor and a mentee needs to be confidential, so that you just each trust that what you say in your conferences goes no additional. That is necessary as a result of you might be speaking about office politics or the working relationship between your colleague and another person on their venture workforce.
You each must know which you could converse truthfully and brazenly and that what is claimed gained’t get reported again.
Take into consideration how and the place you will meet to keep up confidentiality. You’ll have to be in a non-public room (whether or not you might be assembly just about or in-person) to verify nobody overhears your dialog, particularly if delicate points are on the agenda.
5. Present entry to your community
One of many different the explanation why your colleague selected you is more likely to be for entry to your community. If they’re on the lookout for a brand new job or are eager to get forward and construct their fame, then they may admire being included in your network and the alternatives you may create for them.
You don’t need to put them ahead on a regular basis however do not forget that a part of being a mentor is championing their pursuits. Networking is important. When you hear of a job alternative or a brand new venture that you just suppose they may be fascinated with, then counsel them to the hiring supervisor.
You will have to have a dialog along with your mentee about what they’re on the lookout for of their future profession so as to look out for the proper sorts of alternatives.
6. Construct their confidence
Many individuals flip to mentoring to get extra confidence in a selected space, and I’ve actually discovered that with the folks I mentor.
Usually, it’s mushy abilities, interpersonal abilities, energy abilities… you recognize what I imply. Or stakeholder engagement and navigating workplace politics.
Nonetheless, I’ve additionally mentored individuals who wished assist with dashboards and venture reporting, understanding threat administration and different extra technical abilities.
Usually what we do on mentoring calls is reviewing project management documents to allow them to really feel assured they’re placing out good high quality venture artifacts and plans.
The massive problem with mentoring is to hurry straight in with, “Let me inform you what I’d do…” and probably not listening to the issue they’re going through.
Ask clarifying questions so that you perceive the problem they’re speaking about, for instance:
- “What occurred subsequent?”
- “What have been you considering within the second?”
- “Can I make clear if I’ve understood?” (after which paraphrase what you could have heard)
- “What do you need to occur?”
Lively listening – the place you focus, acknowledge and listen as an alternative of letting your thoughts wander – is a key competency for mentors.
8. Be trustworthy
Let’s say your mentee has made a doubtful alternative. They may solely develop if they’ll mirror on why that was the mistaken path and what different decisions may need been accessible on the time. And so they can solely do this if you’re trustworthy with them.
Additionally they have to be trustworthy with you – in the event that they’re telling you that it’s all fantastic, you then’d need to query why they wished a mentor within the first place.
9. Contemplate mentoring a two-way relationship
Have a look at the mentoring relationship as a partnership and keep in mind which you could be taught as a lot as they’ll out of your discussions!
It’s OK to ask your mentee a query, or to say, “I’ve by no means thought of it that manner earlier than, let’s work it out collectively.”
They gained’t anticipate you to know all the pieces or to have achieved all the pieces, so it’s fantastic to be trustworthy about your experiences and say when one thing is new for you too. Sure, you might be in a task model-type place, however you aren’t on a pedestal.
Your subsequent steps
Mentoring is a good way to spice up your profession and achieve new abilities in addition to supporting junior colleagues. And it’s a strategy to retain expertise within the group, so the corporate advantages too.
Why not put the phrase out that you just’re open to mentoring colleagues?
Want a mentor?
E-book an influence hour with me. Acquire some readability about your profession or get help for a venture in a one on one session.
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