Why mentoring as part of our Social Adoption Programme? ‘Cause one size does not fit all

We’re now a few weeks into the social adoption programme for our senior leaders to support them in developing their thought leader strategies. We’re in the 1:1 Mentoring phase and it’s confirming our beliefs that a one size fits all approach would indeed be detrimental if the outcomes of building a personal thought leadership strategy are to be achieved. 

After all each person is individual and is therefore at a different stage of the learning cycle and not to mention, works at a different pace.  To attempt to ask each person to work at the same rate and in the same way in order to develop their personal social thought leader strategy would only lead to frustration, and no doubt an eventual falling away and disinterest in what we are attempting to achieve. Failure would definitely be an option if the journey were not based on the individual’s needs.

When we designed the social adoption programme we chose to design it so that it was comprised of five phases.  Phase one, being research to determine existing confidence and capability and eventually ending with integrating the personal social through leader strategies with the business’ social media strategy. Once the final phase is completed, the implementation of each person’s strategy becomes business as usual or operationalised, so to speak. The mentoring phase is the penultimate stage and we predicted that it would be the longest and most intensive part of the programme.


To ensure that we would truly engage in mentoring, rather than consulting, we agreed that our mentees would be required to complete the activities themselves if they were to grasp the new skills and knowledge and integrate them into how they work. As a result, we developed mentoring guidelines for the mentors.  This included guidance such as:

  • Work at the pace of the partner (mentee)
  • Share personal experiences based on undertaking the activities being completed by the partner (mentee)
  • Share learning, including both failures and successes 

We also developed an activity checklist to support application of the skills learnt at the practical workshops on how to use platforms, and a workbook (we call it a playbook) to facilitate the development of their personal thought leadership strategies.  The former is used to ensure that the partners are engaging in regular activities that help to embed the new learning. The latter is the main resource for developing the personal strategies and acts as a guide and roadmap for each individual.

Whilst it’s fairly early days yet, so far I believe we’re learning as much as those we are mentoring because no two partners are at the same place in their journey.  It’s wonderful to see how different information resonates with different people and what is resonating for them as a result of their personal purposes and visions.  

What I’ve come to realise is that our approach to mentoring is based much more on a collaborative relationship than on a pure sort of teaching experience which is how mentoring is usually perceived and conducted.  We are truly learning together and the unpredictability of each session means I look forward with anticipation to the next meeting.

by @TracyGravesande  #mentoring #socialbusiness #socialtransformation

Photo by jscreationzs. Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net


One thought on “Why mentoring as part of our Social Adoption Programme? ‘Cause one size does not fit all

  1. Pingback: Personal Journeys and Social Media Learning | NavitasIP

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