Looking Back on the Year
by Dr. Linda Phillips-Jones (in memoriam) slightly edited by Dr. G. Brian Jones
Congratulations on getting through 2012 with all its highs and lows. Before you take your mentoring initiative into 2013, here are some steps to reflect on all you’ve done over the past 12 months and to consider what could happen next.
1. Note progress.
Wherever you are in your initiative, stop and take stock of what you and the others have accomplished. Have you put together your planning team? Do you have your program design ready to go? Have you obtained sign ups by potential mentors and mentees? Are you close to having matches? Is your kick-off event scheduled? Are mentoring pairs and groups meeting and doing challenging things? Has a group of mentors and mentees completed a relationship cycle? Is an evaluation process in action? What new skills and knowledge and performance skills have mentees attained? Do people have engaging stories to tell?
2. Spread the news.
Be sure to report evidence you’ve collected about accomplishments. Share it with all participants, prospective future participants, and decision makers who are watching your mentoring initiative. Send a quick, newsy e-mail. On your mentoring website, add a progress note and pictures. Leave voice mails congratulating people and thanking them for their diligence, commitment, and inspiration. Place an article in your organization’s newsletter, and give credit to all helpers. Tell everyone about the progress.
We think it’s good to mark any and all successes, and we favor parties, especially around the holidays. Can you schedule a celebration this month? Even a short event says "Mentoring continues to be important here. Our mentoring culture thrives! We’re proud of you for your great achievements." Some mentoring initiatives go all out and plan a celebration dinner for mentors and mentees.
4. Reflect on your role.
How are you doing as mentoring coordinator or mentoring champion? Are you still enjoying your role? Do you look forward to activities as much as you did in the beginning of your mentoring initiative? Or are you tired and in need of a new burst of energy? Many coordinators and planning teams get recharged by spending time with several enthusiastic mentors and mentees to get a first-hand taste of their excitement as well as their challenges.
Take stock of your knowledge and skills as well as your attitudes. Is it time to expand your role and learn more about some aspect of mentoring, sponsoring, leading, evaluating, training, or other topic? If you haven’t yet, consider grooming someone to learn what you do. Having an apprentice lets you pass on your leadership skills and helps you step back when the time is right. Succession planning is a vital step.
5. Consider 2013.
January is always a good time to introduce something new. What are your plans? If you haven’t yet, gather your planning group and clarify everyone’s vision for the new year, even the new decade. Have a frank discussion about the past year’s work. Is it time to redesign a part of your initiative? Expand it to a larger audience? Start mentoring groups in addition to pairs and triads? Change your own training as well as that which you deliver to others? Write down what you’re doing so others can duplicate your efforts? Create a DVD that tells your initiative’s story?
What will you do the same as you did in 2012, and what will you do differently? What are the major milestones for 2013, and who wants to be responsible for each? How will you celebrate each step of the way?
We greatly appreciate your support of CCC/The Mentoring Group throughout 2012. All of us wish you a fulfilling new decade and look forward to many exchanges with you in 2013.
CCC/THE MENTORING GROUP
13560 Mesa Drive, Grass Valley, CA 95949, USA
Phone: 530.268.1146 Fax: 530.268.3636 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
All materials copyright © CCC/THE MENTORING GROUP
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