The Key Questions for Developing Effective Mentoring Programs
© 2003, Barry Sweeny

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What follows are all the major questions that a mentoring program should answer if it wants to ensure that its participants' performance improves and the desired results are achieved as an outcome of the program.

Asking these questions provides a potential structure for the process of program development. However, ANSWERING these questions in ways which will ensure program effectiveness is not so simple. It is a long, but rewarding process.

Doing all of these is often more than a mentoring program planning group can possible undertake alone. It just takes so long to collect all the needed information and to synthesize it to allow members to learn best practices when consensus does exist and the various options when best practice does not exist. That is why most mentoring programs choose to employ an expert mentoring consultant (like the author). Simply stated, most mentoring programs recognize the value of a mentor for THEMSELVES!

Since effective mentoring is a complex professional practice, the programs that develop and support mentors and their proteges could not be anything other than complex as well. That is the case. In fact, to some extent, using this entire web site will be necessary for any program to develop answers which are effective and appropriate to the range of needs of your participants and setting.

Although such a task may seem daunting, consider this. All the information and guidance you need to actually accomplish the four tasks described above IS AVAILABLE here on this web site and through the support of your colleagues. You don't have to spend a lot of time researching and hunting the web to find it. It's already collected and here for you. That's because facilitating your learning and success and that of your mentoring program is BPR's goal.

In fact, all this information is organized and presented in several ways to suit your personal learning style and preference for accessing the information.

THIS web page presents ONE possible starting place for it all, offered in the form of questions.
Let's begin.

INDEX to the Categories of the Questions:

The Key Questions to Answer in Mentor Program Development

Mentor Program Leadership

Program Partners

The Program's Conceptual Foundation

Process for Program Design & Development

Data-Based Planning

Program Approach

Protege Needs Assessment

Organizational Needs Assessment

Other Contextual Issues to Consider

The Participants

Program Purpose and Goals

Program Structures & Components

Program Implementation

Time & Timing

Roles & Tasks

Recruitment of Mentors

Selection of Mentors

Matching Mentors & Proteges

Initial Training

On-Going Support & Training

Resources For Mentors

The Mentor-Protege Relationship

Mentor-Protege Communication

The Developmental Mentoring Process

Mentoring Styles

Incentives & Recognition for Mentoring

Evaluation of Program Participants

Program Evaluation and Improvement

Supporting and Sustaining the Program Over Time

You have my permission to duplicate this information as long as you:

1. Keep the author and copyright info, graphic header, and source info on the page
2. Do not sell it or provide it as a part of paid professional services.

© 2004, by Barry Sweeny, Best Practice Resources, 26 W 413 Grand Ave. Wheaton, IL 60187

630-668-2605, Cell 630-842-2991, email and web site at <>.