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My Mentee is Not Engaged – Part II

A Mini Case Study on Mentoring Employees

Read Part I for background information.

Jackson reached out to the Mentor Program Director for support. He told him the story and said that he was probably not the best mentor for Jeb. It might be that Jeb just wasn’t interested in being mentored or simply that they were not “clicking” as mentor and mentee. Jackson told the director that he was going to reach out to Jeb and suggest that Jeb reach out to the Director of the Program to find another mentor. The Mentor Program Director supported this plan.

Jackson decided not to bring up to the Mentor Program Director nor to Jeb when he spoke with him about what he heard through the grapevine. Frankly it wasn’t worth bringing it up and wasn’t really of value to the conversation he wanted to have.

Jackson reached out to Jeb and said that they really needed to meet to talk about the mentoring relationship. He didn’t provide Jeb an opportunity to say he was too busy, but rather told Jeb he was stopping by his office at the end of the day.

Later that day

Jackson stopped by Jeb’s office just before 4:30 PM. He told Jeb he wouldn’t take up much of his time and wanted to discuss the mentoring partnership. Jackson noted that it was obvious to him that he and Jeb did not have the best mentoring relationship. There was no blame to place, Jackson said, it could simply be that they didn’t “click” or that Jeb had other more important things going on and this couldn’t be a focus right now. He told Jeb that he spoke to the Mentor Program Director and let him know that he was going to suggest to Jeb that he reach out to the Director if he was interested in getting another mentor or holding for now and rejoining the program at a later date.

Jackson wanted to be sure an argument didn’t ensue. Therefore it was important to him to make it clear to Jeb that he wasn’t placing blame nor really needed to discuss why Jeb was unengaged in the program. He simply wanted to end the relationship and suggest that Jeb reach out to the Director for another mentor or to exit the program and restart when he was ready to do so.

Jeb didn’t argue. Rather, he told Jackson that he had much on his plate and expected the program to be a bit different than it was. He guess, he told Jackson, that he really didn’t understand the expectations of being a mentee and would reach out to the Program Director to understand more about the program and restart at a later date.

After the meeting

After the meeting, Jackson reached out to the Mentor Program Director and caught him up on his conversation with Jeb. He let him know that Jeb would be reaching to discuss next steps. Jackson also suggested that a refresher for the entire organization on what it means to be in the mentoring program may be in order. While only Jeb seemed to be confused, Jackson felt an overall refresher on the role of mentor and mentee would be of value to all.  He also told the Mentor Program Director that he was very interested in continuing to mentor and therefore, should the opportunity arise, he would like to take on a new mentee. The Mentor Program Director just so happened to have another employee interested in being mentored!

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