An Acronym That Explains Mentoring

I could use some help. I’m trying – without success – to create an acronym that captures the essence of mentoring.

How would you use MENTOR or MENTORING as an acronym? What I have so far needs some work.

an answer without a question loses its power

M.

Mission – what are we working to accomplish. Mentoring has focused outcomes. Mentors and proteges define success together.

A journey without a destination is walking around.

Model the way – mentors live the message. Emphasize the ‘show’ in show and tell.

E.

Explore your protege’s knowledge. Mentors begin where a protege’s knowledge ends. Mentors ask, “What do you know about this?”, before they share experience or expertise.

N.

Negotiate the relationship.

Mentors understand that some prefer hearing, others prefer seeing, still others learn by doing. Mentors ask, “How do you prefer to learn?”

Do you like to think things over or jump right in?

Discuss how to create space for learning. Explain that you won’t offer quick solutions. Successful mentors create space and stay available.

Would you like to try on your own before or after we talk?

T.

Build trust. Mentors create safe learning environments. Practice trial and error. Mistakes are learning opportunities.

Mentors make failure safe by sharing their own failures.

O.

Open your ears before you open your mouth. Encourage questions. Avoid quick answers.

Curiosity precedes answers.

An answer without a question loses it’s power.

R.

  1. Recognize progress.
  2. Receive feedback before giving it. Feedback begins with mentors asking about their own performance. “What am I doing that works for you? What might I do better?” Be specific. “I want to give you space and support. What am I doing that gives you enough space?”
  3. Review and reflect on performance. Feedback is a two way street.
  4. Be real.

What suggestions do you have for fleshing out an acronym for MENTOR or MENTORING? Thanks for your suggestions.

Note: The focus of this acronym is peer mentoring within manufacturing.