If you are considering, or are currently in a Formal Mentoring relationship, please read this entire page, and refer back to it as needed. You may choose to use all, or some of the approaches and options explained here.
This page is geared primarily towards (potential) Mentees, for information geared toward (potential) Mentors see Formal Mentoring Training.
Formal Mentoring Approach
Understanding the general approach to Formal Mentoring will help you decide if Formal Mentoring is a good fit for you.
There are four basic sequential steps to Formal Mentoring. Let's look at them in more detail.
Step 1: Decide if formal mentoring is right for you
Ask yourself some questions, and consider the benefits, responsibilities, and commitment to help you decide if you're ready for this.
- Would you rather keep it simple, and utilize Informal Mentoring (asking for help in the Forum or WME chat)?
- Have you already read the Wiki?
- Have you looked through the Forum to see what topics make sense and engaged in conversation there?
- Can you articulate what kind of help you need?
Being accepted into Formal Mentoring is a privilege, and responsibility.
- Respect the confidences of each other.
- Respect each others time.
- Seek other sources of information such as the Forum and Wiki before engaging the Mentor and during the mentoring process.
- Write down and tell the Mentor one or more goals you have in the relationship.
- Time to receive the mentoring you’re asking for.
- Eagerness and willingness to learn.
- Effort to practice, and help yourself.
Step 2: Find a Waze Mentor
- Ask an experienced Mentor to mentor you.
- Ask an experienced person for a suggestion about who might mentor you.
- Try to match with a mentor who is active in the same geographical area where you are active (not always critical)
- Send a formal request via PM to the Mentor. Identify yourself, your experience, what you need help with, and how you prefer to engage with the Mentor. Ask if they can help you.
- Continue dialog with potential Mentor to clarify what is needed.
- Consider if the Mentor is a match in skill and personality to you.
- If the Mentor is not a match, seek another.
- If you can't find a Mentor on your own, submit the mentoring request form, and an available Mentor will be chosen to work with you.
Form an agreement about;
- What your goals and objectives are, and how best to achieve them.
- How long you estimate mentoring is needed. This may be anywhere from a week to many months, depending on goals and the scope of skills transfer. Don't allow the Mentorship to continue indefinitely, claim success for achieving your goals, and end this Mentorship. (You can always begin a new Mentorship with new goals afterwards.)
- How often you would like to interact? Typically at least twice per week is suggested.
- How will you communicate? (WME chat, web conferencing such as Hangouts, phone, e-mail). Often, this requires frequent interactive mentoring for a few weeks and offline communication (e-mail, PM) afterwards.
Step 3: Ideas about how to engage in Mentoring Relationship
Once you are in a Formal Mentoring relationship, you need to work to achieve your goals.
Your first interaction may be critical to make your relationship successful, so you might want to do it through live online chat, a voice call, or video chat where a relationship can be established. You may want to build the relationship, and trust by talking about other topics, interests, and experiences.
- For some ideas of things to discuss see the Additional Info page.
There are many forms of communication, use the forms which work best for your unique relationship. Remember that PM, email, and other asynchronous communication can be more subject to misinterpretations. The primary forms of communication for Mentoring are:
- Google hangouts (you can create a separate Google account to use with Waze),
Remember to always;
- Be respectful, understanding, and motivated.
- Utilize "Active Listening".
- Own the relationship. It's up to the Mentee to learn, and grow. Your Mentor will help, but you need to drive the progress.
- Ask for and provide honest feedback.
- For ideas on do's and don'ts to enhance your relationship see the Additional Info page.
Step 4: Completing the Mentoring relationship
The Mentorship should end once you've achieved your goals, but may end due to other reasons (e.g. other events in real life, lack of time, your skills and needs are no longer the best match, etc.). When it does end please specifically tell your Mentor "this Mentorship has ended", and discuss any expectations (i.e. promotions, areas, etc.). Not all promotions are permanent. This does not prevent future interactions or even another Formal Mentoring arrangement between you.
If you have any ideas on how to improve the Mentoring program in general, or individually for your Mentor, please tell your Mentor, or the Formal Mentoring management.
- For more details on ending a Formal Mentorship see the Additional info page.
What happens if things don't work out?
As suggested above, there are a number of reasons why a Formal Mentoring arrangement may come to an end. We hope that the primary reason is that the Mentee has achieved their goals. In some cases things may go wrong because we have competing priorities and different personalities. Rather than harbor concern about what went wrong, try to solve and move past the issue and move forward. Here are some suggestions about what is reasonable and options you may have.
- Mentor is no longer available (for any reason)
- The Mentor should seek to find a replacement Formal Mentor. If that doesn't happen, the Mentee should seek to find another Formal Mentor. The previous and new Formal Mentor should evaluate if the prior work and skill set warrant any rank or role change. Mentee and new Formal Mentor should work on new goals and agreement.
- Mentee can no longer participate (for any reason)
- Mentee should inform their Formal Mentor rather than just abandon the relationship. It is up to the Formal Mentor to decide if there was sufficient progress for any rank or role adjustment. Temporary rank or role adjustments may be revoked at the Formal Mentor's discretion.
- Mentee abandons Formal Mentoring (for any reason)
- Should a Mentee abandon Formal Mentoring for any reason such as becoming unavailable, not communicating at all or insufficient for the Mentor's needs, then the Mentor will indicate via a message that the Formal Mentoring arrangement has been terminated. This assumes that the Mentor has taken reasonable effort to contact the Mentee. Hopefully the agreement outlined the frequency of communication that would be expected. In such cases there is typically no rank or role adjustment and any temporary adjustments are revoked. It is less likely that this editor will be accepted into Formal Mentoring in the future.
- Personality Conflict between Mentee and Formal Mentor
- Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, conflict can occur between two people due to personality or value differences. While we seek flexibility in both the Mentor and Mentee, sometimes it doesn't work out. In that case the team should be honest about the disagreement. The Mentor should help the Mentee seek another Formal Mentor. The Mentee may have to do this on their own if the Formal Mentor does not help. A third party should be contacted to mediate, and determine if the Mentees rank and role should be adjusted, and whether any temporary promotions should be revoked. This should be handled by those managing the Formal Mentoring program. If they are unavailable or partial to the subject, they will assign another Global Champ Mentor. If you feel the Mentor has acted inappropriately see below."
- Poor behavior by the Formal Mentor
- We do try to train and mentor our Formal Mentors! It is possible that they could overstep their authority, impose upon or insult the Mentee, or otherwise misbehave in their role as a Formal Mentor and editor. This will not be tolerated in the Formal Mentoring program. In such cases the Mentee should seek to deflate the conflict, reduce communication, and immediately seek help from those managing the Formal Mentoring program. Mentees may also seek advice from and inform a trusted Global Champ. If you feel comfortable doing so, please contact those managing the Formal Mentoring program. Let these people deal with the situation so you don't have to engage in conflict. Be prepared to clearly articulate the issue and present evidence of the issue. If validated, such behavior could lead to removal of Formal Mentor status or other actions as decided upon by the Global Champs or Waze staff.
- Poor behavior by the Mentee
- The Formal Mentor should first start by professionally confronting the poor behavior as an issue in useful involvement in the Waze Community and incorporate learning into the Formal Mentoring about such issues. Poor behavior may include but is not limited to blatant repeated errors in editing that damage the map, not following Formal Mentor direction with an intent to frustrate, repeated rude behavior to others in the Waze Community, and intentional disrespect to the Formal Mentor. In such cases the Formal Mentor is expected to clearly articulate the issue and present evidence to other Champs for discussion and advice. Such behavior could result in ejection of the Mentee from the Formal Mentoring program and other appropriate steps as needed such as revocation of editing privileges.
All the Mentoring program pages are linked in the box below. New pages can be added to this list by clicking here.