Mentorship Methods That Don’t Work

Are you wasting time on failed methodologies?

j taliaferro



Here is how this method usually plays out.

An organization decides there are a few skills and ideas that an employee needs to know.

They then create a checklist of said skills and essential knowledge for the task.

Finally, they assign a “mentor” to teach them these skills and pass on the knowledge needed.

Why it doesn’t work:

Mentorship is relationship-based, and human relationships are most effective when natural and organic. When an arbitrary list guides a relationship or mentorship, it cannot grow in its most natural way.

Overarching goals are great, but when you reduce mentorship to a limited checklist, you suck the life and excitement out of the experience. If the relationship between mentor and apprentice takes a back seat to the list, and you remove the enjoyment of the process from both mentor and apprentice, and they are left with busy work. Checklists are good for initial orientation, but they are not good methods for Mentorship.

Speed mentoring

Speed Mentoring is a relatively new concept that has come out of the speed dating movement.

A group of “apprentices and mentors” gather together in a room.

The mentors sit alone at tables set for two.

The apprentice chooses a mentor to sit down with.

The apprentice has 10 minutes to ask anything of the mentor sitting in front of them.

The organizers ring a bell, and the apprentice moves to the next “mentor” for another 10-minute mentor date.

After a couple of hours of this, your mentoring is over.

Why it doesn’t work:

Again, mentorship is about relationships, and 10 minutes of questions do not a relationship make. I do think something like this could help you find a mentor that fits you well, but it is just a start. Speed mentoring would be more aptly titled speed networking or speed consulting. This is not mentorship.



j taliaferro

Storyteller, Author & Disciple of Jesus Christ. Lover of family, sushi & world travel. I hate cotton candy, bats and the Kansas City Chiefs.