Advanced Mentoring Skills Training Sydney 2014

meq2Over the last two to three years, I have had a number of approaches from leaders involved in mentoring others to facilitate an update or advanced skills course.  This is finally getting underway in Sydney, being hosted by Peter and Ngaire Moore.  I will be doing the training for this program.  The advanced skills course assumes participants will already be mentoring and have had either some experience or some previous training.   We will not be covering the same material covered in the foundational level course. 

For a brochure please follow this link

Applications are welcome online, you will be contacted for an interview (most likely over the phone or internet) 

To apply or express interest online follow this link

Outline of a typical mentoring session

There are several important sections in a typical mentoring session.  I am assuming here that the four foundational processes of formation have been completed and mentoring has moved into the leadership / ministry formation stage.

1.  Connecting, pastoral support

This is the opportunity for an important update of your mentoree’s life story. It is a chance for you to get a broad feel for what is happening in your mentoree’s life. Don’t structure this part too highly. It is an important time for your mentoree to raise anything that they would like to process. Be careful not to let this session take over the whole mentoring time.  I usually give this around 20-30 minutes. 

Common Questions:
How are you travelling?  How is N the child of God, father, husband, pastor, gardener, golfer, householder? Share with me the 3 blessings you are most grateful for in the last month. What have been your three greatest burdens? What incidents, relationships, TV programs, books, remarks have had more than just a passing impact on you over the last month? Is there anything ‘out of left field’ that we need to talk about in this session?

2.  Accountabilities

This section needs to follow the pastoral time. A mentoree does not normally settle in the session until the agreed and known hard questions are asked. This needs to be structured but facilitated in a caring and supportive manner.

Common Questions:
How did you go with the number of nights home with your family this month?  Lets have a look at the accountability we put in place in relation to …. ?  You committed to meet with … How did it go?  I promised last session that I would ask you about your progress with …?

3.  Work on agreed objectives and action points

This is the central section of mentoring and should be well planned and prepared.  Look at each of the objective in turn and the action points that might have arisen in the last session.  Is there progress?  New learning?  Is there further insight into the dynamics at play in each of the areas.  Prepare questions, resources, exercises, discussion, action points for each objective for this session.  Work together to agree to some practical and achievable action points that the mentoree commits to follow up before the next session. 

Common Questions and Processes
Lets have a look at each of the objectives….. What have you been learning about in relation to ……  Have you gained any insight into……   I have been reflecting on your objective of ……  I have prepared an exercise in relation to…..  In thinking about your objective of ….., I came across this article which I think might take us forward. Are there any commitments that you believe you should make out of today’s session.  How do you feel about committing yourself to complete this by our next session? 
How seriously do you need to take this situation and act on it? How can I assist you meet your commitments?

4  Conclusion

Revisit any major items shared in the pastoral connection time.
Affirm progress made on accountabilities and objectives.
Remind mentoree of any commitments that you will follow up next session.
Take a few moments to summarise and reflect

Questions / Comments
Let me just recap the journey of the last hour or so….. 
Lets just sit quietly for a moment. What has happened for you in the last 2 hours? What is something you are taking away from this session together? 
Let’s just go over our commitments to each other for the next session.

5. Arrange and confirm the next session. 

Forming a Mentoring Relationship

mentorThere are four key elements that need to be covered in the formation of mentoring relationship.  These are outlined below.  They may occur over 2, 3 or even 4 sessions.  If there is an existing relationship getting started with mentoring may be engaged more quickly. 

1.  Building a high trust relationship

This always takes time, but I know no better way to begin this and to put the foundation in place that to have an opportunity for both mentor and mentoree to share their life stories with each other.  Take some time with this so it is best done when there are no major time constraints.  I tend not to prepare this before hand.  I just let it come out as it feel right to share.  Sharing a life story is sometimes a challenge for a mentoree, few have actually done before.  It is in a sense sacred ground.  As mentors we need to respect it as such. 

2. Getting an overview of the mentoree’s life, challenges, roles and commitments

The sharing of life stories gives us a head start here but there is usually much more to getting a big picture understanding of our mentoree.  What are their key roles in life, most important relationships, major issues and challenges.  At what stage of marriage, family life, leadership development and personal spiritual formation are they?  What are their gifts and capacities, personality preferences and leadership style. I often use some inventories and tools to assist me at this point. 

3.  Setting 3-4 clear objectives

Once we have connected and got a bit of understanding it is time to settle to clarifying 3 – 4 objectives for the year.  Is is good for these to be expressed in SMART terms.  I like to have one or two personal goals, one or two professional / leadership development goals and one goal related to something the mentoree has just always wanted to do for the fun of it! 

4.  Expressing the relationship in covenant terms

This written and signed document covers when and where we will meet, for how long and what to do if one or other needs to cancel.  We agree to availability in crisis times, confidentiality, any involvement with the church, the minister’s partner, and how we handle social contact outside of mentoring. 

I always ensure we document the objectives and commit to working actively on the them for 12 months.

We agree when the relationship will be reviewed.  I go for 12 months and a possible renewal. 

Both sign, pray and the mentoring begins……