People often ask us questions about mentoring or seek mentoring advice. We decided to answer a few of these questions on the blog this month. Hopefully their questions (and our answers) will shed some light on your own mentoring questions.

Note: These questions are compiled from several questions we receive, and do not necessarily reflect any one person’s submission.

Q: Six months ago, our mentoring program was announced. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was buzzing about it and our people were eager to get started. At first, there was a flurry of activity and everyone was meeting with their mentee and really pretty excited. But all that energy was short-lived. About six weeks in, our mentors started telling us they had run out of things to talk about. As it turns out, most of them were just having coffee and catching up. It seems like we’ve missed the boat somehow. What would you suggest?

A: What you are describing is the Three Cups of Coffee Syndrome. The mentor/mentee relationship has been established, but it lacks direction, focus or goals to move mentoring forward. This is what often happens when organizations launch a mentoring program without providing sufficient and consistent training for their mentors.

Good mentoring requires specific skill sets. Even leaders who engage in informal mentoring throughout their entire careers struggle with creating successful mentoring partnerships.

Mentoring training builds more confident and competent mentors. It promotes mentor readiness, creates a standard of mentoring practice, provides guidelines for ensuring mentoring success and offers a safe climate of support. Mentor training offers a roadmap and a benchmark for mentors to measure their success as well as strategies to address stumbling blocks quickly.

Good mentoring training saves time. It keeps mentoring interesting, productive and on track from the get-go.

If you’re interested in mentoring training, register for our 3-day training certification program. The Mentoring: Strategies for Success program will teach you how to lead your own one-day training for your organization. Our next program is Monday, September 29 – Wednesday, October 1. Seats are limited, so register today!