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that I manage remotely. I want to make better use of virtual technology to plan, connect and collaborate.


Goal: Develop improved time management. I want to spend more time on important work activity. I want to learn ways to more effectively manage my priorities.

are the purpose towards which actions are directed; they are an aspirational desire that is worth striving towards. Goals are not measurable or tangible. Objectives are things that one’s

actions are expected to obtain; they are specific actions that result in goal attainment. Objectives must be measurable and tangible. With these definitions in mind, I

contend that, when establishing devel- opmental goals, it is better to avoid the rigour of the SMART acronym. While SMART goals are great for establish- ing performance measures, they conflict greatly with developmental activities. Instead, I recommend REAL goals for mentoring. Te REAL acronym stands for Relevant, Experimental, Aspirational and Learning-based. When creating developmental

goals, mentoring participants should

try to incorporate these four attributes: ``

Relevant – indicate why the development goal is important and worthwhile.


Experimental – identify development activity that will lead to greater insight.

` ` ``

Aspirational – identify an area of desired development.

Learning-based – express outcomes that are focused on gaining capability.

For example, notice how the REAL elements come into play in these

sample developmental goals: ``

Goal: Develop more strategic thinking. I want to improve my ability to see the big picture and take a longer view of critical business trends. I want to rise above the tactical day-to-day details that I manage and focus on the de- veloping trends within my discipline.


Goal: Develop better remote management. I want to increase my effectiveness as a team leader with the direct reports

30 | June 2017 |

If these developmental goals had been written using the SMART acronym, they would look vastly different. Tey also would shift from being developmental goals to becoming performance objectives. When working with your

mentoring participants, encourage them to focus on goals, not objectives. Have mentees and mentors put their attention to what they want to accomplish over the next six weeks, or month, or quarter. Teir REAL goals provide a clear criterion against which activity can be planned and progress can be assessed. Participants can reflect on what

they want to accomplish, envision what success could look like, explore options for bringing their goal to

Tree guidelines to emphasise are: ``

`` ``

Give willingly and generously. Act humbly and courageously.

Engage others honestly and openly.

Give willingly and generously Mentoring is a two-way street. Mentees and mentors both gain through the practice of mentoring, and both need to be engaged in giving willingly and generously to their mentoring partner. People can do this by being highly collaborative, by willingly sharing their know-how, and by generously giving time and energy. Sometimes mentoring is simply about being there for the other person, and generously and willingly giving time to one another is an important way to build trust in the relationship.

Honesty is vital to building trust, because trust is based on confidence in other people’s character

reality, and then agree on an action to take in pursuit of their goal. From there, they can take action, assess results and then adjust their goals or next actions as needed. Tis is much different from

focusing only on measurable outcomes, as they would with SMART goals.

Essential element 2: Building trust

Having trust in one’s mentoring partner is critical for a relationship to be successful. Administrators and leaders can provide some guidelines for participants when it comes to establishing trust within mentoring relationships. Tese guidelines should help mentees and mentors set the tone for their relationship and give them a framework for expectations.

Act humbly and courageously One of the keys to building trust in a mentoring relationship revolves around embodying the characteristics of humility and courageousness. A large part of the collaboration and knowledge-sharing that occurs in mentoring involves revealing personal understandings about one’s weaknesses or growth areas, what may have gone wrong in the past, and what lessons have been learned through previous experiences. Not everyone is willing to communicate these types of insights for fear of being seen as incompetent, unknowledgeable or foolish. However, when mentees and

mentors are courageous enough to let down their guard and expose their vulnerabilities to one another, deep and profound knowledge-sharing can occur. As a result, transformative mentoring can take place.

Engage others honestly and openly Honesty is vital to building trust, because trust is based on confidence in other people’s character. Trustworthy mentoring partners are frequently described as people who walk the talk, follow through on commitments and are consistent in their actions. In a word, these people act with integrity. Being mentally present and

actively listening will help mentees and mentors ask meaningful questions of one another and engage in deeper conversations. Tis, in turn, can build profound trust between


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