Center for Mentoring Excellence

June 2010 | Volume 1 Issue 3
Mentoring Matters is a bi-monthly e-letter focusing on best practices that motivate, inspire and grow individual and organizational mentoring excellence.
In our last issue we discussed Creating a Mentoring Culture.This month, we will examine the mentoring cycle, each of its phases and some of the strategies you can use to ensure mentoring success. Be sure to check out our weekly blogs each Wednesday!
The Mentoring Cycle 
Successful mentoring relationships move through a four phase cycle - preparing, negotiating, enabling, and coming to closure. Each phase varies in length from one relationship to another. If you've ever wondered why some of your past mentoring relationship didn't work out, it may be because you skipped over one of these phases. Read on!
Mentoring Cycle
Getting Ready. The work of the preparing phase focuses on getting ready for initiating the relationship.
Establishing Agreements. The work of the second phase, negotiating, focuses on establishing agreements that include well-defined learning goals, success criteria and measurement, delineation of mutual responsibility, accountability, and protocols for addressing stumbling blocks, consensual mentoring agreement and a workplan for achieving learning goals.

Mentoring at Work. The third phase, enabling, encompasses most of the work. It is typically the longest phase and offers the greatest opportunity for learning and development.

Closure. The fourth phase, coming to closure, presents a dynamic learning opportunity to reflect on and process their learning, regardless of whether or not a mentoring relationship has been positive.
Mark and Jack are back!
In Issue 1, February 2010, we introduced you to Mark and Jack. Mark, the mentee, comments ,"Our time together felt more like a transaction. We really hadn't connected with one another on anymore than a superficial level and I still knew nothing more about him and his career path than I had four weeks before." Their relationship had so much potential and yet it never got off the ground in other than a transactional way.  Had they taken the time to get the relationship started by getting to know each other, sharing expectations and clarifying assumptions they would have avoided what ultimately upended the relationship. Further, if they had taken the time to establish shared agreements they might have been able to avoid hurt feelings, guilt or fear of reprisal.
Self Knowledge: Where It All Begins
It is all too easy to assume that because mentors have more experience in a particular kind of work, business, or field of study they know best how to help a mentee structure a mentoring relationship. This is often not the case. Mentors might not be aware of a mentee's learning and communication style, nor know the mentee's expectations.  Mentees need to be self aware and be willing to share their vulnerabilities and mentors need to spend time preparing so that mentoring becomes a mutually satisfying experience. 
Agreements Keep You On Track
The mentoring agreement leads to success. Whether you are engaged in informal mentoring or in a more formal mentoring relationship, establishing agreements up front will ensure that the learning and the relationship stays on track.  Clarify mutual expectations, accountability, and learning outcomes. You are more likely to overcome obstacles with these agreements in place.
Mentoring Resources
The Today Show offered some very inspirational stories:
Whether you are looking for an informal or a formal mentor, help is on the way:
How to Find a Business Mentor.
For a quick reference on all of the phases see Mentoring Excellence Toolkit #1.
What We Are Reading...
Finding Your True NorthUse the exercises in Finding Your True North Personal to take your mentoring conversations to a deeper level.

Power MentoringPower Mentoring describes examples and candid insights from fifty of America's most successful mentors and protégés careers.
Mentoring Workshops in Chicago OctoberThe Center for Mentoring Excellence is offering a full day workshop focused especially for mentees. Don't miss this opportunity to learn with authors Dr. Lois Zachary and Lory Fischler as they take you through a dynamic interactive process to guide you through what you need to know and do. Click Here For More Information.
Lois Zachary Director, CFME
Lory Fischler Asst Director CFME
In This Issue:
The Mentoring Cycle
Mark and Jack are Back!
Self Knowledge: Where It All Begins
Agreements Keep You On Track
Mentoring Resources
What We Are Reading
Mentoring Workshoip Offered in Chicago in October
Visit Our Blog CFME
Establishing Agreements
Mentoring at Work
Bringing Your Relationship to Closure and Moving On
August Issue:
 Seeking and Recruiting a Mentor
 A Little Self Awareness Goes a Long Way
Networking for Mentors
Selecting a Mentor
Making the Ask
Not Receiving Our
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Interested in Leadership? Visit:
 Leadership Development Services
Toolkit #4 Is Now Available For Purchase!
 Mentoring Excellence Pocket Toolkit
A Note to Our Readers:
 We believe that leaders cannot be effective without a strong and ongoing commitment to mentoring excellence. This belief, our passion for mentoring excellence, and our extensive experience in the field with organizations led us to create the Center for Mentoring Excellence. At our virtual center,, you will find mentoring tools and resources, expert advice and a forum for sharing best mentoring practices. We hope that you will visit us there and let us know how we can continue to help you raise the bar on mentoring in your organization.