Coaching and mentoring team members for improved performance is an important skill for all supervisors. It is an opportunity to guide them to higher levels of performance and achievement and, along the way, watch them grow and develop as individuals.
Do you know what it takes to be as helpful as you can be as a mentor? Do you know the best ways to share expertise, insight, and experiences from your work life to help others negotiate their own career paths, overcome obstacles, and reinvigorate their passion? Being a successful mentor means offering value and giving your mentees the opportunity to see their situations and opportunities from a fresh perspective. Sometimes, it isn't as easy as it sounds.
To ensure your menteee grows and develops successfully, here are some insights from ICMA CoachConnect professionals for the next time you are a coach, adviser, teacher, or mentor:
"I spend a few hours with mentees over a number of months. We touch base and talk about the issues they may be facing in their careers. I have offered advice, reviewed resumes, and provided some alternatives to their current positions. As the result of a few conversations, I feel like I was that last voice the mentees needed to take that leap of faith to their next bigger and better positions." - Carol Jacobs, ICMA-CM, Assistant City Manager, New Port Beach, California
"One of the individuals who I am coaching was in a bad situation as CFO of a small Kentucky city. This was his first experience in local government, as he was a recent MPA grad. It was a strong mayor form of government and the city administrator, to my mind, did not meet ICMA standards. The CFO was being asked to do some questionable transactions. We had a number of conversations about his situation and how to respond. In the end, he resigned and has since landed a fellowship position in a Massachusetts township. I have spoken to him a few times since his move and he seems happy and doing well. We will remain in contact." - Kim Payne, ICMA-CM, retired City Manager, Lynchburg, Virginia
"I am coaching a highly accomplished Air Force commander who retired in November 2017. We are working together and discussing ways to navigate going from the military into local government. He is a highly skilled leader with a depth of experience few people I know have. Our original conversation started about resources to find government jobs. We also spoke about salary expectations and how to use LinkedIn and ICMA to look for assistance in the transition from military to government work. Part of my job is to help him see how he can use his military experiences in lieu of actual local government experience to provide transformational leadership to local government. I have offered assistance to him with rewriting his resume to fit a government position. He is highly educated, highly decorated, and has a drive for excellence. It has absolutely been my pleasure to coach him. I look forward to see where he "lands." - Catherine Bennett, Organizational Development Administrator, Athens-Clarke County Unified Government, Georgia
"Coaching is a great way to reflect on our leadership journeys, affirm good career practices, and learn from the experiences of others. The short time investment is an invigorating boost to my commitment to public service." - Laurel Prevetti, Town Manager, Los Gatos, California
"I am working with one Nebraska administrator who is filling a joint role of administrator and utility superintendent. We have had four telephone conversations to date on topics (we schedule the topics to be discussed in advance) that are new to him in his role, and these conversations have been helpful to him and to me. Just thinking and brainstorming responses to his questions has allowed me to reflect on what has worked well for me and where I can improve in my current responsibilities. So, bottom line, these efforts are mutually beneficial and will be continued for the foreseeable future." - Joe Mangiamelli, City Administrator, Bellevue, Nebraska
For more information about CoachConnect or to explore one-to-one coaching, visit icma.org/1-1-coaching.