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Topics: Career Development, Construction, Leadership
Finding a mentor
Network:31



I've crossed paths with some senior PMs when my organisation was delivering to their organisation. They came across as knowledgeable, approachable professionals but we didn't interact enough to build any personal relationship.

Would my best strategy be to ask to pick their brain on something and keep picking if they respond well or would it be better to bluntly propose the mentor-mentee relationship?

How would you feel if someone you have met say five years ago approached you to be their mentor?

When I last had a mentor long time ago it happened naturally due to constant interaction and good rapport.
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Network:833



Kristian. I think the best advice I can give you is think about if you can have a trusty relationship together and avoid any conflict of interest in the mentor-mentee relationship. For instance if i am the person boss I think is not good to have a mentoring process to avoid having any misundersnanding and I would prefer to pick another person as a mentor.
Network:1017



If it is an individual you respect as both a person and a professional then just as if they would mind being your mentor. Just make sure you are ready for what it requires from you as well. A bad mentor relationship can ruin a working relationship. I've mentored people before who did not put any effort into the relationship. They expected the mentor to push them along.
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1 reply by Kristian Soini
Jul 01, 2019 2:58 AM
Kristian Soini
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Thanks Anton.

In your opinion, what is required of the mentee not to be viewed as not pulling his weight?

Years ago when I had a mentor I approached him with small real life questions that I explained as objectively as I could and my mentor would probe with a few questions to check that all obvious solutions had been considered by me before he provided his opinion on what would be the likely outcome in different scenarios.
Network:2336



A few weeks ago I was approached by email by a project manager I did not know. He explained his situation pursuing PMP and asked me if I would consider to become his mentor. We met last week and here we are in a mentoring situation.

Trusted relationship is not a prerequisite of mentorship but an outcome.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
If you don't ask, the answer is always no.
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1 reply by Kristian Soini
Jul 01, 2019 3:00 AM
Kristian Soini
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Hi Thomas,

"Trust is outcome not prerequisite" is a very good point of view. Got to start somewhere and build from there.
Network:1481



Kristian -

A lot depends on the culture of the company and whether they have a formal mentoring program or support for one. If so, then it would be reasonable to be connected with someone you haven't met before, but if not, I'd recommend starting by building the working relationship first before raising the subject of being mentored by the individual.

Kiron
Network:22285



Agree with Anton and Kiron.
Network:98361



Relationships are based on trust. Without trust, the relationship will not be viable for the purpose of mentoring. After all, mentoring is about revealing personal things about each other, under a covenant of privacy and secrecy.
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1 reply by Kristian Soini
Jul 01, 2019 3:05 AM
Kristian Soini
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Hi Stephane,

Trust is inherent until it's broken. Also, trust is non-existent until it's earned. Depends on first impressions with that person, I would say.
Network:2336



Well, as a waterfall model, trust comes first then mentoring. How many people do you trust? Not very effective.
Also if mentoring goes well, trust will be increased, hen and egg problem.
So I suggest an agile model, in iterations and building incremental trust as well as incremental mentorship. The backlog will be the topics to cover and retrospectives will help to have progress.
Network:6693



Hello Kristian: We had an interim CEO who came to our local hospital. He and I were at a dinner meeting and were seated together. I had admired his knowledge and understanding, but more importantly I was so impressed by his servant leadership style over months of watching him and how he handled challenging circumstances. During our conversation, I shared that I had applied for our corporate mentoring program and said I was waiting to be assigned to a mentor. He replied that he would mentor me if I was interested. I was thrilled, but knew he would be very busy and wondered if he would really take the time to approach this. He not only took the time, but came very prepared to each mentoring session. He gave me homework assignments, recommended books for me to read and I learned so much. I will forever be grateful I was mentored by such an excellent candidate. He has moved on to other work, but we remain in touch and recently he agreed to be a guest speaker at our local PMI chapter. I found a lifelong resource in that mentoring opportunity. I hope the same for you! Mentoring can be very helpful.
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1 reply by Kristian Soini
Jul 01, 2019 3:07 AM
Kristian Soini
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Hi Lori,

I am glad for you. It can be career changing or even life changing to have the right mentor, even if only for a while.
Network:31



Jun 27, 2019 1:35 AM
Replying to Anton Oosthuizen
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If it is an individual you respect as both a person and a professional then just as if they would mind being your mentor. Just make sure you are ready for what it requires from you as well. A bad mentor relationship can ruin a working relationship. I've mentored people before who did not put any effort into the relationship. They expected the mentor to push them along.
Thanks Anton.

In your opinion, what is required of the mentee not to be viewed as not pulling his weight?

Years ago when I had a mentor I approached him with small real life questions that I explained as objectively as I could and my mentor would probe with a few questions to check that all obvious solutions had been considered by me before he provided his opinion on what would be the likely outcome in different scenarios.
Network:31



Jun 27, 2019 5:14 AM
Replying to Thomas Walenta
...
A few weeks ago I was approached by email by a project manager I did not know. He explained his situation pursuing PMP and asked me if I would consider to become his mentor. We met last week and here we are in a mentoring situation.

Trusted relationship is not a prerequisite of mentorship but an outcome.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
If you don't ask, the answer is always no.
Hi Thomas,

"Trust is outcome not prerequisite" is a very good point of view. Got to start somewhere and build from there.
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