What is it? Quite simply, it’s for mentors and mentees to stay in regular touch.
1. To stop the relationship dying off
If a mentor and mentee are not in regular touch, there isn’t a productive relationship. If your mentor is someone you feel awkward about getting in touch with because you haven’t spoken to them in ages, that’s a sign that the mentoring relationship is not really there. Keep in regular touch and this won’t happen. (if it feels dead already, not to worry: read on for tips to reinvigorate it!)
2. To help overcome speechwriting procrastination
Most of us are procrastinators when it comes to doing things that are important to us. At a club like ours, doing speeches is probably the main reason we are here, yet many of us can spend months and months (even years!) without doing a speech for no good reason. We’ll find the time to watch the next episode of our favourite TV series, but somehow retreat from sitting down and writing that speech that we know is far more important. Sometimes all that’s required to get us over that hump is someone nudging us. If you are a mentor and in regular contact with your mentee, you’ll be well placed to ask “When are you planning to do the next speech?” Often that’s all that’s needed.
3. To form a bridge to the club when life gets in the way
Imagine having a busy period in your life that results in you being unable to make meetings. It could be work, moving house, starting a family or having an illness. The period ends, but because your rhythm of regular attendance has been broken, you can’t quite get yourself to attend again even though you know it would be good for you.
A mentoring relationship maintained in spite of infrequent meeting attendance might be all that’s needed to get back on track. A phonecall, email, text or WhatsApp message from such a person that says “How are things? It would be great to see you again” often is enough.
Time to take action!
So that’s the why. As promised, here on some practical steps to get moving on putting that rocket fuel in the tank.
1. Get in touch each time a new meeting role is assigned
This is a very natural prompt for contact. Helping a new member do a role for the first time is especially important because the club experience is so very new. Public speaking is often something we are terrified of doing, so having a supportive presence there for you in those early stages makes a huge difference. Mentors should get a notification from the vice president of education when their mentees have roles. Take that as your cue to get in touch!
2. Check in if you haven’t been in touch for a while
If you haven’t been in touch with your mentor or mentee recently – let’s say more than 2 months – commit to meeting or phoning your mentoring partner in the next few weeks. A good icebreaker for that conversation could be the following question “when are you planning to deliver your next speech?” Don’t delay!
3. Start scheduling your meetings with your mentor/mentee
Assuming you have put into action step 1 or 2, when you do next meet, agree to a follow-up session straightaway, and stick a date in the diary, even if it’s just a placeholder. It could be in a week, a month, 2 months or even quarter! Once it’s scheduled in, the virtuous cycle of meeting, then scheduling, then meeting will continue on! Choose a frequency, format and meeting length that works for you!
The best way to find out if it’s for you is to try it! Visit us as a guest, totally free, with no obligation to join, and see if we have something to offer you.
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