So let's say that you have made the decision to become a mentor. Here is an example of how to break the ice. Purposefully, with intent, enter into that initial dialogue so that you can make it the best possible experience for both you and the mentee.
Here are some ideas to start a dialogue with your mentee:
- Share personal details like your role at VMware, any hobbies, interests, or other fun facts about yourself. Ask your mentee to share the same with you.
- [Chris] Industry Standards Technical Manager, Office of the CTO; kids, family, friends, learning, church; Texas, US Navy submarines, Nuclear Engineering, McCombs MBA, 20 years information security with concurrent 10 years graduate teaching and 13 books. I've learned how little I know and how to ask others for help.
- You can find out more about me here: Chris Davis | LinkedIn | Cloud Audit Controls
- Get to know your mentee by asking questions about their career and how they got started at VMware.
- [Chris] I came to VMware by way of VCE, left for Amazon, Oracle, startup, came back.
- Share your career goals and aspirations with your mentee, and the steps you’ve been taking to achieve them.
- [Chris] I’ve achieved far more than I ever set out to achieve. Why? It's not because I'm the smartest. 100% believe in yourself. Determination. Extreme ownership. Accept imperfection. Accept failure. We will discuss these.
- If relevant, ask your mentee for insight into their current work projects. They may have questions and an outside opinion may be helpful.
- [Chris] I have several opinions. Not all of them will be helpful! 20% will be wrong. 60% will be solid. 20% will be nuggets. You’ll have to have the discernment to determine which opinions follow into which category for you. We will discuss this as well.
- Share about recent books or podcasts you’ve enjoyed. If they also read or listen, set up a meeting to exchange thoughts (like an informal book club!).
- [Chris] I regularly read and listen to podcasts. I have several current favorites.
- Discuss tips and tricks for working from home. Your new hire may not be used to working in a virtual environment. Openly discuss any pain points and if relevant, provide recommendations.
- [Chris] Choose to arrive at the beginning of the day with intent and a plan. Otherwise, by default, you choose to invite failure as an option and you choose to accept that.