Mentor Program Overview
Welcome! To the RIA Mentor Program
Purpose: To empower new business owners, as well as the younger, next generation of restoration professionals by connecting them to the wisdom and experience of long-standing members of RIA.
Intention: At RIA, we believe in providing mentoring relationships that thrive on cooperation and partnership. We serve both existing and the next generation of leaders who are seeking mentorship guidance at all levels of the business by sharing the wealth of available resources, wisdom, and experience of successful restoration professionals.
This guide will walk you, our newest mentor, through some of the components that make RIA Mentoring unique, as well as our most commonly asked questions. You'll also find best practices provided by our current mentors.
1. Mentoring Framework
RIA's framework is focused on building the mentoring relationship between the mentor and mentees over a period of time, usually a one-year experience with the option to continue past that mark. It is important to be consistent and faithful to the relationship with the expectation of varying degrees of engagement – on both sides – throughout your time as agreed.
Principles: There are many different ways to sharpen the edge of anything. Brute force is one way. Another way is to learn from those who have gone before – those with experience. RIA believes in sharing the wealth by providing a win-win solution, and in the power of imparting wisdom to others.
2. Mentor Posture
Important things to remember about mentoring:
Mentors can only provide help where and when the mentee would like to receive help.
How: By asking good questions, and being patient with your mentees, you will be able to see more clearly where to guide them. Another component of mentoring is being there just to be there. Sometimes, a simple email or text of encouragement may be exactly what a mentee needs.
Mentoring is Different than Teaching
How: Mentoring is walking alongside a mentee as they progress in their professional and personal development – all while applying a professional perspective to situations arising in the workplace.
What makes a successful mentor?
The way a mentor shows up can sometimes have more of an impact than the words they speak. A successful mentor assumes a posture that can be described as:
While every relationship will be unique, the common thread of RIA mentoring relationships is that both people come to the table open and ready to learn from each other. This is the spirit that drives the transformational nature of our mentoring program at RIA.
4. Mentor Expectations
One on Ones
Regular interaction between the mentor and each mentee in a one-on-one setting is what makes the RIA experience. Texting, calling or meeting for coffee, lunch or dinner if possible. This creates the opportunity for and allows the mentee to dive deeper into specific areas or seek counsel where needed.
If possible have at least one face-to-face meeting within the first six months of starting. If you have mentees who are not local, coordinating a video conference is an important consideration.
Each call should have some time hearing from your mentee sharing what’s going on in their world. Using some planned guide like those below can make this process quick and focused:
- What’s Working? What’s not working as well as you would like?
- Anything Else?
Mentor and mentees share the responsibility of facilitating conversation and the direction of calls. Each week doesn’t have to prescriptively follow a pre- assigned agenda. If something happens in the mentees’ life at work and that needs to be the focus for the week, that’s good. What you had planned can wait. Ideally, your conversation will move fluidly along a pathway you both design allowing for the freedom to discuss current circumstances as they arise.
Share your Wisdom / Listen
During calls, there should be a balance between how much you listen, and the time given to coaching and sharing of wisdom. That doesn’t mean there is equal time spent on each, but it does mean mentors have an equal commitment to mentees being heard as well as being coached.
Taking Notes allows you to track results for your mentee
Business Lifeline Report
The first project should be the Business Activity. Plan to have your mentee share about this each month which means you may be in this activity for two or three months or so. It provides a great foundation for coaching conversations and learning.
5. Best Practices to Help you Get Started
The mentor/ mentee relationship is one that is created, curated, and carried out by each group. There is no set path to follow, and each group’s ending point will be different. Within that understanding, there is still room for mentors to carry out best practices that can ensure the ending point is one that makes the RIA mentoring experience worth the time in inexplicable ways.
Things to Remember:
- Open each call with a check in (current events)
- Listen for updates on project commitments.
- Time to discuss new issues and challenges.
- Make yourself available for questions and support.