How to Power Mentor Your Team

ProjectManager.com

There’s a way to quickly ramp up the skill sets of your team, and leadership coach Susanne Madsen has a slew of good ideas on how to do that.

Here’s a shot of the whiteboard for your reference!

using mentoring groups to help your project teams

In Review:

Susanne noted that instead of trying to improve performance by individually dealing with your team, if you teach them en masse you’re more likely to get the results you want quicker.

Benefits of this team mentoring is that you create a space space in which no one feels singled out, which builds loyalty and trust, as well as addressing those issues that brought this action forward.

She outlined seven steps to follow in order to power mentor your team.

  1. Determine objectives and topic
  2. Provide useful guidelines
  3. Listen to team’s presentations
  4. Be supportive and fully present
  5. Give constructive feedback with other team members
  6. Provide further insight about the topic
  7. Ask a teammate to write a blog or run a webinar

This template allows you to disseminate information efficiently and created buy-in from the team as well as knowledge that they can pass on.

Pro-Tip: Though the purpose of this exercise is to teach skills to your team, as the project leader you must never stop learning yourself. There are many things you can do to keep learning, and mentoring is one of them.

Thanks for watching!

Transcript:

Hi, I’m Susanne Madsen. Welcome to this White Board session on how to power mentor your team.

You have probably been in a situation where you wanted to develop your team members’ skills. Maybe you had one-on-one conversations with your team and you would really like to spend time developing one person’s presentation skills, another person’s risk management skills.

But, in spite of your good intentions, nothing really happens because you’re time constrained. If that rings true for you, why not power mentor your team? What this means is that you essentially get your entire team together and take turns presenting a topic of interest.

The benefit of doing this is that your team members learn new skills, they get to present in a safe environment, it builds trust and camaraderie amongst the team, and all it requires from you is that you turn up whenever you have these meetings and be supportive. The frequency depends on your appetite. You could do it every two weeks. If you do it every month or two months, you could lose momentum.

Let’s look at the steps to go through when you set this up. The first step is to sit with your team to determine what the objectives are, what they would like to learn. So you can brainstorm all the topics, including risk management and planning, and include business-related topics as well. Agree a schedule, who will talk about which topic when.

The next step is to give your team members some guidance. You may expect them to present for ten minutes using PowerPoint and flip charts, and to give positive and negative examples of the technique they’re talking about. It’s very important that you are present, that you are supportive. If you stop attending the meetings, it just shows that you don’t value your team members’ growth.

After team member has presented, provide feedback. That is, everybody in the team to provide feedback. Make sure that it is layered, or balanced feedback, meaning that you tell the team member what they did really well. Also tell them something that they could improve upon. But keep it positive, you want to build people up yet give them something to learn.

What’s also important is that you, then, provide further insight on this topic. If it’s risk management, why not tell the team what else you know about the topic?

Lastly, you can further stretch your team by asking them to write a blog post about it every so often, maybe not every time, or present to a bigger forum, or do a webinar just for the team. Make sure that you stretch them and that they get to experience different techniques in different settings.

Thank you for watching. Please visit us again at projectmanager.com.

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