One significant project has been for each coach to choose an aspiration, set corresponding goals, identify a mentor, and talk with the mentor in weekly sessions. One coach chose a locally prominent restaurateur as a mentor, another selected her father who is successful in real estate, one coach selected the head of Aveda esthetics, another asked Juliano, and the fi fth coach chose a peer who has achieved every goal she set for herself.
Through the process, the coaches shared their learning with each other, and built alliances with their mentors, which benefit not only themselves, but the business in general. They learned to think critically and give feedback. In fact, the coaches recently participated in their own version of Tabatha’s Salon Takeover when they swapped salons for a week, reporting back to each other the areas they observed that could use improvement.
“They have to learn to be fair, listen, look for opportunities versus problems and find solutions. They are learning to delegate,” says Juliano. They are such experts that they often feel it’s easier to do it themselves. But, others must have the chance to develop, too. I’m teaching them leadership skills.”
The Mentoring Steps
By definition there is no “cookie-cutter” approach to mentoring. Expert deGrandpré has worked with many different types and sizes of businesses that have evolved their mentoring processes according to the organization’s and learners’ needs. “The mentoring content is significantly different from each other. I have discovered, though, that all of these businesses have fundamental components of mentoring in common. These six steps must be present to have a true workplace mentoring system and, clearly, June’s delegating and mentoring system encompasses each,” she says. Following are the steps as outlined by deGrandpré:
1. Evaluate people’s strengths, needs and aspirations individually. We learn uniquely. No two people bring exactly the same qualities to a job. The development process is much more effective and efficient when it is shaped to the individual.
2. Create opportunities to learn on the job. We learn by doing. Use the workplace as the classroom.
3. Define teaching and learning roles. We learn with clear expectations. Set clear goals and responsibilities for the mentoring process, including content and pace. Review and revise continually to reflect progress.
4. Give direct feedback. We learn with encouragement. Mentoring is a two-way process. Both people need to exchange feedback, with emphasis on what is working well.