Learn Mentoring Fundamentals
After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
- Understand the purpose of Trailblazer Mentorship.
- Describe mentoring.
- Identify the roles and responsibilities of a mentee and mentor.
- Summarize the benefits of mentoring.
Trailblazer Mentorship Makes the Magic Happen
Are you interested in joining the Salesforce ecosystem, but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you just became Salesforce certified and are wondering, “What’s next?” You are not alone. Even when you know your interests and have awesome skills, job hunting inevitably brings questions. Lots of questions. Things like:
- What’s the right company and role for me?
- How do I get that first job in the Salesforce ecosystem now that I’m certified?
- Where can I get help with my resume and preparing for interviews?
- How can I position my transferable skills?
- What are some ways to get project experience if I’m new to the Salesforce ecosystem?
- How do I get connected to the Trailblazer Community?
These questions are just the tip of the iceberg. And asking them is crucial to your career development—but how can you get the answers and guidance you need? We’d like to introduce you to Trailblazer Mentorship. Through this program, job-seeking Trailblazers are matched with seasoned professionals who:
- Provide general career advice, including strategies for resume-building and interviewing.
- Connect job seekers to Salesforce ecosystem opportunities.
- Share their networks in the Trailblazer Community.
These mentoring relationships help empower job seekers looking to land jobs in the Salesforce ecosystem, while enabling them to build strong professional relationships in the process. Sound like something you’re interested in? Well, you’re in the right place. In this badge, you learn how to make the most of your mentoring relationship. And when you’re ready, you can apply to become a mentee in the Trailblazer Mentorship program.
In the meantime, you can start preparing for a successful mentorship right now. Let’s start with the basics.
What Is Mentoring, Anyway?
Mentoring is a partnership between someone who is more experienced in a particular skill or subject (a mentor) and someone who is less experienced (a mentee). The mentor shares their expertise and guidance—even general work or life experience—in order to foster the mentee’s personal and professional growth.
And mentees aren’t the only ones who benefit from the relationship. Mentoring is an excellent way to share knowledge, build skills, and explore broader functions and roles within the organization—for both mentors and mentees.
Where there’s shared learning and growth, there’s also shared responsibility. In other words, the experienced mentor isn’t solely in charge of leading the relationship. Both the mentor and the mentee have a very important role to play—and specific responsibilities that go along with that role.
Who Does What?
As a mentee, your desire to develop personally and professionally drives the mentoring relationship. To be successful in that role, you should:
- Schedule the meetings.
- Create and send a meeting agenda ahead of time.
- Show up to meetings on time and prepared.
- Define goals and develop a plan to achieve those goals.
- Complete any follow-up steps in advance of the next meeting.
- Update your mentor on your progress.
- Ask for (and be receptive to) feedback.
- Be respectful of your mentor’s time.
So, what does your mentor do? A great mentor, besides providing access to much-valued expertise, will:
- Be present for meetings.
- Ask questions to get insight into your career goals.
- Give advice, suggest challenges, and offer feedback to help you reach those goals.
- Share lessons they have learned during their own journey, and listen to the stories you are sharing about your experiences.
- Have high expectations of you and hold you accountable.
- Maintain confidentiality.
These are the general roles and responsibilities that frame the relationship, but rest assured that the dynamic between you and your mentor isn’t rigid. Mentors might enter into a mentoring relationship to offer up their expertise, but they learn from it as well. In fact, as a mentee, you might have sought out the relationship to gain knowledge, but you will have some wisdom of your own to share and a fresh perspective. The mentee, especially, should expect to wear many hats. Don’t worry, you look great in hats.
Here are three of the roles you can expect to play:
|A Mentee’s Roles|
Steward of Self-Development
|Develop rapport with people in various levels of responsibility
||Commit yourself to development
||Be receptive to feedback
|Provide honest feedback and discuss failures and successes
|Be flexible in terms of communication preferences (like email, phone, and so on)
||Set realistic expectations
||Learn and apply self-empowering behaviors
||Identify strengths and development areas
|Identify and explain your needs
||Follow through on commitments
||Use effective verbal and written communication
|Communicate issues or challenges clearly and regularly
||Seek help if you need it
||Search for ways to achieve objectives
||Manage relationships proactively
||Identify professional development goals, priorities, and career interests
It’s important to remember, too, that each mentoring relationship is different. Keep this in mind if you have multiple mentors. Adopt a flexible mindset and avoid applying your expectations as one-size-fits-all. Each mentor is different and can help you grow in their own way. Being aware of that can make each mentoring relationship more authentic and powerful.
You’ve got the basics down. Let’s talk about benefits.
A Mutually Beneficial Relationship
When we enter into a mentoring relationship—whether as a mentor or a mentee—we achieve lots of wonderful things, both personally and professionally. Take a look at just a few of the benefits:
|Mentoring helps mentees...||Mentoring helps mentors...|
There’s no doubt, mentoring is marvelous, magnificent, motivating… we’re almost out of words that start with M. So let’s talk about the L-word. (No, not love —although we think you’ll love mentoring!) We’re talking about lifecycle—as in the lifecycle of a typical mentoring relationship. You learn all about it in the next unit, so keep reading.