Powerful Mentoring Tools

Mentoring Tool # 4 – Transitions

This illustration captures the experience of a person in the midst of a major transition such as redundancy, change of job, change of location, etc.

The diagram powerfully identifies the elements and stages of the person’s situation. It also provides encouragement by helping the person recognise that what they are experiencing is a normal part of adjusting to major transitions.

Once the experience is clarified and acknowledged then the person is more open to developing an action plan that will help the person move forward in character and capacity as they make the transition.

This illustration is adapted from Kath Donovan’s book, Growing Through Stress, which I mentioned with Mentoring Tool #1. As the title of the book suggests the illustration is useful when a person is clearly stressing as a result of their circumstances.

I generally take my time while I’m sketching the diagram to maximise the impact. I use words beginning with the letter “P” when listing the various aspects of the “Old Place.” These then translate to the “New Place”, new people, new procedures, etc.

I’m now not surprised when sketching the stick figure in the stormy sea that the discussion centres around feeling overwhelmed and the comment, “That’s not me. My head’s UNDER the water!”

The discussion can then move toward an action plan, “What are the things that could be done to help you get your feet on solid ground?”

Powerful Mentoring Tools

Mentoring Tool #3

The time management matrix developed by Stephen Covey is another powerful mentoring tool.

Essentially time management is a misnomer, the real issue is managing oneself. Time cannot be managed, each of us is given one day at a time to live. We decide how we are going to use each day.

The matrix as shown provides a valuable focus for a mentoring discussion particularly around the QUALITY quadrant. The matrix can be sketched on a piece of paper or on a paper serviette around coffee.
Organising around the QUALITY quadrant involves four decisive actions:

1. Identifying your key roles
2. Selecting two or three important goals related to each of these roles
3. Scheduling time in the week ahead to achieve the goals
4. Adapting daily

A fifth decisive action is delegation. Effective delegation is a high-leverage action. It opens up growth opportunities for people and the organisation.

Adapted from Stephen R Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, 1989, The Business Library, Melbourne