A Mentoring Program Guide for Unions
How to Start Your Own Program
An Overview with Tips and Forms
Union Privilege
1125 15th Street, NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-293-5330
www.UnionPlus.org
Table of Contents
Topic
Page
Purpose and History
4
Mentoring Program Overview
5
Mentoring Sequence and Activities
7
Getting Started
Tips for a Successful Mentoring Relationship
8
Tips for Mentors
10
Tips for Mentees
12
Getting Acquainted
14
Mentoring Logistics
16
The Mentoring Sessions
Setting Mentoring Goals
17
Session Preparation for Mentee
20
Sample Session Structure for Mentor
21
Union Leadership Education
22
In Person Session
23
Evaluating/Completing the Mentoring
Mentee Quarterly Reporting
24
Mentoring Feedback
25
Mentoring Program PowerPoint Presentation
27
Index
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Table of Contents
Topic
Page
ListServ
28
Recommended Reading
29
AFL-CIO Constituency Groups
30
Mentoring Tips
31
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Purpose and History
This booklet is designed to assist union organizations in creating their own mentoring
program.
This booklet was originally created for The Union Leaders of the Future Mentoring
Program. The Union Leaders of the Future program supports the labor movement’s
campaign to develop union leadership that reflects the current – and future –
membership of organized labor.
The Program matches union mentees with experienced union leaders who can assist
with setting and reaching defined union leadership goals.
The following materials are designed to provide a structure to a mentoring relationship.
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Mentoring Program Overview
Mentoring provides a personalized learning and development experience at a critical
juncture in a person’s career path. The mentor is someone who has traveled the path
before and can offer advice, guidance and insightful questions to help guide the
mentee. The mentor is part teacher, part thinking partner, and a curious listener and
coach.
While each mentoring relationship is unique, some typical outcomes for the mentee of
mentoring include:
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Enhanced clarity on career goals
Movement forward in career aspirations
Enhanced contacts and resources related to the goals
Increased confidence in pursuing goals
Mentors also find great satisfaction from the relationship which allows them to:
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Reflect on their own path
Assess what has worked and not along the way
Enhance their coaching skills
Assist an emerging leader along the path
Mentoring Program Components
The Mentoring Program is focused on assisting participants with developing/enhancing
their leadership. To be effective, clear goals for the mentoring will be defined at the
beginning of the relationship to help guide the mentoring conversations.
The components of the Mentoring Program are:
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A matching process to match mentor and mentee based on location, background
and interest
Initial orientation for the mentors and mentees. Show these Mentoring Orientation
Videos to your mentors and mentees. Show this PowerPoint presentation to your
mentees and mentors. And customize this PowerPoint presentation with your union’s
information to show to your mentees/mentors.
A commitment by mentor/mentee to arrange up to 12 telephone/in-person sessions
over the course of one year
An on-site visit for the Mentee at the Mentor’s location or key conference. For
additional ideas on in-person visits check the In Person Session.
Quarterly calls for Mentees
Support for Mentors with a professional coach
Routine check-ins and a final evaluation of the mentoring engagement
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
Confidentiality for the mentor and mentee in terms of session content
Mentoring Orientation Videos:
Click here to be directed to the Union Plus Mentoring Toolkit website to view the
Mentoring Orientation Videos.
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Mentoring Sequence and Activities
Each mentoring relationship is unique and will develop its own rhythm based on the style
and needs of the mentee and mentor. The following table provides guidance for how a
12-month relationship can be structured. The forms identified below appear in the
remainder of this workbook and will guide both mentor and mentee through the process.
Session
Suggested Topics
Prior to Orientation
Session
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Orientation Session
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Prior to each session
Session 1
Leadership Training
Session 2-5
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On-site Session
Session 6
(Mid-point)
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Session 7-11
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Session 12
(Final Session)
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Mentors read Tips for Mentors
Mentees read Tips for Mentees
Complete Getting Acquainted
Mentee completes preliminary form on goals for the
mentoring program
Program Background and Expectations
Discuss preliminary goals of mentee
Decide logistics for future sessions
Mentee prepares for session and may e-mail Mentor
an update
Mentor prepares for session
Review mentee’s goals
Make initial requests/agreements between mentor
and mentee
Discuss possible on-site session
During the first few sessions, Mentors and Mentee
should discuss and identify a leadership training
course for the Mentee.
Review action Mentee has taken toward goals
Discuss challenges Mentee is facing and ways to
overcome
Discuss Mentor’s experiences and resources in goal
areas
Decide actions to be taken
During the first 6 months, Mentors and Mentees
should consider an on-site session at the Mentor’s
location, a conference or a constituency group.
Discuss progress on Mentee’s actions toward goals
and changes to goals
Check-in on how relationship is going and requests
for changes
Review action Mentee has taken toward goals
Discuss challenges Mentee is facing and ways to
overcome
Discuss Mentor’s experiences and resources in goal
areas
Decide actions to be taken
Assess progress toward goals
Discuss methods to further goals
Evaluate success of the experience
Forms to Use
 Tips for Mentors
 Tips for Mentees
 Getting Acquainted
Getting Acquainted
Mentoring Logistics
Mentoring Goals
Session Preparation for Mentee
Sample Session Structure for
Mentor
 Mentoring Goals
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 Mentoring Goals
 Session Preparation for Mentee
 Session Structure for Mentor
 Mentoring Goals
 Mentoring Goals
 Session Preparation for Mentee
 Sample Session Structure for
Mentor
 Mentoring Feedback
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Getting Started - Tips for a Successful Mentoring Relationship
In addition to the tips on the following pages for the Mentor and Mentee, we have
found that mentoring relationships are most successful when both parties are
intentional about making and keeping their sessions and ensuring that the sessions are
purposeful and focused. Following are some tips to assist you.
Pre-plan your Logistics:
1. Scheduling: Create a schedule for your monthly calls for several months in
advance. A consistent day and time will help the call become routine. Mentees
should be the one to initiate this scheduling. If your Mentor has an Executive or
Administrative Assistant, please use this resource to do the scheduling.
2. Preferred contact method and information: Make sure you have each
other’s preferred e-mail and phone numbers; and know your partner’s most
preferred method (phone or e-mail) for logistics coordination.
3. Placing the call: Please be clear on who is placing the call (mentor or
mentee).
4. Canceling/Rescheduling: If you need to cancel or reschedule with your
partner, please do so as soon as you know of the conflict, and at least 24 hours
in advance. Please do not “stand up” your partner.
Keep the Sessions Purposeful:
1. Create a structure for the sessions: The mentoring conversations should be
purposeful and not just interesting. The relationship should have a progressive
feel to it; resulting in action. Focus on the following during your sessions:
 Goals: What are the goals the Mentee wants to focus on for the year? (See
Mentoring Goals Form). Which goal area do you want to focus on for this
session?
 Action: What does the Mentee and/or Mentee and Mentor agree to do in
order for the Mentee to take action toward goals?
 Progress: What progress are you seeing?
2. Prepare for the sessions: Use the above structure to keep each session
focused. The Mentee should prepare for the session by considering, “What
action have I taken or what has occurred since our last session related to my
goals?” and “What do I want to focus on today with my Mentor?” The Mentor
can begin the session with these same questions. (See the Mentee Session
Preparation Form and the Mentor Session Structure Form.)
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Successful Mentoring Relationship Videos:
Click here to be directed to the Union Plus Mentoring Toolkit website to view the
Successful Mentoring Relationship Videos.
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Tips for Mentors
As you prepare for your role as a mentor in the program, consider the following 10 Tips
to being an effective mentor. Being a mentor in the program will allow you to reflect on
your own path, assess what has worked and not along the way, and to assist an
emerging leader along the path. As a mentor you will be part teacher, part thinking
partner, and a curious listener and coach. The mentoring relationship is about growth
for the mentee, certainly; and we hope you will find it is about growth for the mentor
as well.
1. Consider your own past and path. Before beginning with your mentee, take
time to reflect on when you were in the same career place as your mentee. What
was most useful to you at that time in moving to the next stage? What did your
mentors do that were most effective for you?
2. Make time for real conversations. Clear time to have “real” conversations
rather than rushed check ins with your mentee. Get to know your mentee on a
personal as well as professional level and allow them to know you. Share your
thinking and insights with your mentee and ask him/her to do the same.
3. Give them a structure for success. The mentoring conversations should be
purposeful and not just interesting. The relationship should have a progressive feel
to it; resulting in action for the mentee. A useful model to guide a conversation with
your mentee about their goals, aspirations and actions is as follows:
Goals: What are your goals?
Action: What do you and I agree to in order for you to take action toward your
goals? What actions did you take or will you take?
Progress: What progress are you seeing? What needs to be adjusted?
4. Share your stories. Mentoring is partly about sharing our own experiences and
largely about helping the mentee discover their own path. As appropriate, share
knowledge or insights that would be useful to the person you are mentoring. Often,
this will involve stories of your major points of growth and change along the way—
what allowed you to reach the next level?
5. Ask as much or more than you share. Mentoring helps people uncover what is
important to them, their goals and aspirations. It helps the mentee clarify their
thinking and put actions in place to move forward. Asking questions in addition to
simply “telling” allows the mentee to access their own internal wisdom. Listen
deeply to what matters most to your mentee.
6. Be curious. When was the last time you asked someone what was important to
them and why? What their aspirations are in work or life? Get curious with your
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mentee. Suspend your judgment and just explore. Notice how much more is
uncovered with a “What” question than with a “Why” question. The former opens
up the conversation and reveals the next layer of depth. The mentoring relationship
is based on mutual respect, trust and freedom of expression.
7. Help your mentee see things differently. We often try different actions again
and again with little if any difference in results. Helping your mentee see their
problem or goal differently will allow new and untried actions to be available, which
leads to different results. An effective mentor “lends their eyes” to the person being
mentored so that they can see things from a new perspective. An effective mentor
also models and assists the mentee with the skill of reflecting before acting.
8. Help your mentee see what they do well. We are so often only given feedback
when there is a problem; and, by nature, we tend to look at our own “gaps.” Help
your mentee discover their strengths and utilize them. What do you see that they
may not? What can the mentee do to use this strength even more—is there a way
it can help compensate for a weakness? Focusing on what is working begets a
higher level of performance and builds confidence.
9. Help your mentee see their blindspots. Just as we cannot always see what we
do well, we often do not see our blindspots. A blindspot is what others see about
us, but that we do not see (or acknowledge) in ourselves. Helping someone
uncover this is a core part of change and development.
10. Share resources and connections. The mentee is looking to you for your
experience and for the path you have traveled before them. Share resources that
you have found useful along the way—books, articles, websites, associations, etc.
Also, think about your own network and connections; who would it be useful for the
mentee to know or connect with given their goals?
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Tips for Mentees
As you prepare and progress on your journey as a mentee in the program, consider the
following 10 Tips to being an effective mentee and getting the most of the mentoring
relationship.
1. Be clear on what you want to gain in the mentoring. Before beginning with
your mentor, take time to reflect on the key areas you want to focus the mentor’s
assistance to you. Use the Mentoring Goals forms to clarify what it is you are
moving toward at this time and how the mentor might help you.
2. Have real and purposeful conversations. Clear time to have “real”
conversations rather than rushed check-ins with your mentor. Get to know your
mentor on a personal as well as professional level and allow them to know you. Use
the Session Preparation form to be clear and purposeful in your sessions. Share
your thinking and insights with your mentor and ask him/her to do the same.
3. Make clear requests of your mentor. The mentor is there to share their
knowledge, professional experience and resources or contacts they may have that
will assist you. However, the mentor is not a mind-reader. Articulating what you
need through clear requests of your mentor will make the relationship more
productive and satisfying for you. Requests should be within the scope of the
mentoring. Be clear in your requests, knowing that you won’t get what you don’t
ask for; and the mentor always has the option of saying “no.”
4. Take action toward your goals. The mentoring relationship offers you the rare
opportunity of having someone committed to your progress toward goals. The
mentor will help you think about ways to remove barriers and actions you can take.
However, without trying some new actions, there may be little substance to the
mentoring. Try new actions, assess what you learned, and use this to guide the
mentoring conversations.
5. Take a step back to see things differently. We often try different actions again
and again with little difference in results. Ask your mentor to help you see your
situation differently and/or from their perspective so that you may open up new and
untried actions, which may lead to different results.
6. Be curious. Get curious with your mentor. Ask him or her about past experiences,
their journey, etc. Suspend your judgment and just explore. The mentoring
relationship is based on mutual respect, trust and freedom of expression. Ask them
to share their stories of major points of growth and change along the way—what
allowed them to reach the next level, to attain goals similar to the ones you are
exploring?
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7. Acknowledge what you do well. We are so often only given feedback when
there is a problem; and, by nature, we tend to look at our own “gaps.” Make sure
you are also discovering and utilizing your strengths. Ask your mentor what they
see that you do/have done well that you might not be able to see? What can you
do to use this strength even more—is there a way it can help compensate for a
weakness? Focusing on what is working begets a higher level of performance and
builds confidence.
8. Take a look at your blindspots. Just as we cannot always see what we do well,
we often do not see our blindspots. A blindspot is what others see about us, but
that we do not see (or acknowledge) in ourselves. Ask your mentor what blindspots
they may see, particularly as it relates to the goals you are trying to achieve.
9. Don’t put your mentor on a pedestal. Your mentor will likely be at a
substantially higher “level” than you are. At the same time, this is just the role they
hold, not who they are. Be careful not to put your mentor on a pedestal, as this can
prevent you from relating to him or her as partner.
10. Have fun! The mentoring experience will hopefully be one you look back on
throughout your career. And, while there is serious work involved, don’t forget to
have fun; laugh with your mentor, be adventurous and don’t take things so seriously
as to get in your own way!
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Getting Acquainted
Instructions: Mentor and Mentee, please use this form during your first meeting
with your mentoring partner. The intent is to facilitate a process where mentor and
mentee get to know each other better—in terms of professional background, style, life
experiences and preferred ways of working together.
Professional Background
Current position and responsibilities:
Prior positions and career path:
Unique events along the way:
Personal background
Personal interests and family:
Communication Style
Ways of interacting that are important…
Communication style and preferences…
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Mentee’s Goals for the mentoring relationship
Career aspirations:
Top 3 goals to explore during the mentoring relationship:
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
Questions for my partner and notes from our conversation
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Mentoring Logistics
Instructions: Mentors and Mentees, during your first meeting, please discuss and
come to agreement on the following logistics for the mentoring relationship.
1. Contact Information:
Name:
E-mail:
Primary phone:
Alternate phone:
Fax number:
Administrative Assistant’s e-mail and phone (if applicable):
Prefer e-mail or phone contact for scheduling?
2. Next session date, time and length:
3. Future sessions date and time (try to specify at least 3 additional session dates) and
for how long:



4. Who will place the call?
5. What is our cancellation or reschedule agreement (example: 24 hour notice)?
6. What other special requests do you have of each other?
7. Other logistics we would like to specify:
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The Mentoring Sessions – Setting Mentoring Goals (Goal 1)
Instructions: Mentee complete up to 3 goal forms to specify what goals you are
working toward during the mentoring relationship. These goals should relate to your
development as a Union Leader. Share this form with your mentor and use it to guide
your mentoring conversations.
Desired goal/future state:
Examples:
My mentor works for a central labor council, and I always wanted to learn more about
the relationship between CLCs and local, district and national unions, and how to get
involved
As a new Secretary-Treasurer of my local union, I want to learn more about being
successful in this position.
I’d like to get pointers from my mentor about my career path. Does my mentor have
union contacts in the area of labor law?
I’ve seen the negative impact caused by non-active members. I want to learn ways to
strengthen my local by getting members involved and active
1. Why is this important to me?
2. What resources or assistance would I like from my mentor?
3. What other resources are available (training, people, reading, etc.)?
4. What actions am I already taking toward this goal?
5. What other actions do I commit to take?
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Setting Mentoring Goals (Goal 2)
Instructions: Mentee complete up to 3 goal forms to specify what goals you are
working toward during the mentoring relationship. These goals should relate to your
development as a Union Leader. Share this form with your mentor and use it to guide
your mentoring conversations.
Desired goal/future state:
1. Why is this important to me?
2. What resources or assistance would I like from my mentor?
3. What other resources are available (training, people, reading, etc.)?
4. What actions am I already taking toward this goal?
5. What other actions do I commit to take?
Mentoring Workbook - 2011 Union Plus All Rights Reserved. Used with permission – UnionPlus.org
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Setting Mentoring Goals (Goal 3)
Instructions: Mentee complete up to 3 goal forms to specify what goals you are
working toward during the mentoring relationship. These goals should relate to your
development as a Union Leader. Share this form with your mentor and use it to guide
your mentoring conversations.
Desired goal/future state:
1. Why is this important to me?
2. What resources or assistance would I like from my mentor?
3. What other resources are available (training, people, reading, etc.)?
4. What actions am I already taking toward this goal?
5. What other actions do I commit to take?
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Session Preparation for Mentee
Instructions: Mentee, prior to each session, please prepare for the session by giving
advance thought to the following questions. Consider e-mailing an update to your
Mentor prior to your meeting. This will help focus the mentoring session.
1. What have I tried (new action or practice) since our last session? What impact
or insight did I have about it?
2. What do I want to get out of the session today?




What
What
What
What
challenges or concerns do I want to address?
goal area do I want to focus on?
questions do I have for my Mentor?
requests do I have for my Mentor?
3. What action do I hope to take following our session?
4. What follow-up do I want/need from my mentor following our session?
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Session Structure for Mentor
Instructions: Mentor, use the following session structure to help guide your session.
1. Update: What has happened since the last time we met? What actions did you
take and what new learning did you have? What has become more or less clear?
2. Check in on agreements from the last session: Did each of you take the action
you agreed to? What is the status?
3. Focus for session: What do you (mentee) want to focus on today?
4. Requests and Offers: What requests do you have of each other? What offers
does the mentor want to make?
5. Action and Agreements: What action do we each agree to take between now
and the next session?
6. Logistics for next session: Date and time for next session? Who is calling
whom?
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Union Leadership Education
As part of the mentoring program, consider including scholarships for labor leadership
training or other relevant courses at an approved college/university etc.
Require mentees to complete course(s) within 12 months of the start of the
program.
Provide a list of approved courses at approved colleges/universities. Stay
open to considering other educational institutions/courses. Ask mentees to contact you
to discuss.
Mentees must prior approval in order to be reimbursed.
Costs that are eligible for reimbursement are tuition, course materials and related
expenses. Detail the maximum level of reimbursement.
After receiving approval you must fax or email to us an official document from your
college/university that verifies you are enrolled, and that details the cost of your tuition
(and room and board as applicable). Once we receive this documentation you will be
reimbursed.
Upon completion of your course, we will need a copy of your transcript or certificate
that documents your completion of the course.
Labor Schools and Programs:
The National Labor College - the nation’s only accredited higher education institution
devoted exclusively to educating union members, leaders and staff.
AFL-CIO List of Labor Educators
A partial list of accredited labor program and links to other lists
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In Person Session
In order to encourage the continued growth of the mentoring relationship, consider
offering reimbursement for a follow-up in person session.
Reimburse mentees and mentors for travel and hotel costs for up to 2 nights for one inperson meeting between the mentor and mentee. This may be a meeting at the
mentor’s work location, at a constituency group, at a union convention, or at the
mentee’s work location if more applicable to the goals of the mentoring.
Mentees and mentors make their own travel arrangements, and submit receipts for
reimbursement.
We recommend doing another visit within 6 months of the initial meeting.
Suggestions for meeting:
 Constituency Group meeting. <AFL-CIO Constituency Group>
 A regional conference for your state federation or your union
 Shadow your mentor at his/her office
 Have your mentor shadow you at your office
In order to be reimbursed for this in-person meeting you must get prior
approval.
Mentee submits following information for approval:
Dates for in-person visit: (Day/Month/Year)
___ / ___ / ___ through ___ / ___ / ___
Location for meeting:__________________________________________
City/State: _____________________________________________
Goals for the in-person meeting:______________________________________
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
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Evaluation/Completing the Mentoring - Mentee Quarterly
Reporting
Mentees: Please complete the following information and return it on a quarterly basis
as indicated below:
Reporting Date
Dates of Sessions
this quarter
Notes on Activities, Progress and other
comments
One month after
initial meeting
3 months after
initial meeting
6 months after
initial meeting
9 months after
initial meeting
One year after
initial meeting Final Check-In
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Mentoring Feedback
Instructions: Mentor and Mentee, during your final session together, please take
some time to evaluate what worked well and what you would change in the future.
Please also assess what is next for your relationship and for the mentee’s movement
toward the goals you have worked with during the relationship.
Assess the mentoring relationship and progress toward goals:
Plus +:
What worked well during our mentoring relationship?
What did I learn?
(Mentee) What action did I take toward my goals?
Minus - :
What did not work as well?
(Mentee) Where did action toward my goals get stalled?
Delta ∆:
What would I change next time?
What will I recommend for change to the mentoring program managers?
Feedback for my mentor:
I felt you were most effective when…
I feel you could be even more effective if…
Feedback for my mentee:
Here’s what I saw in terms of your growth and movement toward your goals…
Here are my hopes/wishes for you as you go forward…
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What’s next:
Spend some time discussing what each of you would like to see in the next phase of
your partnership. Possibilities include:

Continue in formal partnership

Transition to informal/situational mentoring

Celebrate and complete your relationship

Other…
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Index - Mentoring Program PowerPoint Presentation
Click here to be directed to the Union Plus Mentoring Toolkit website to view this
PowerPoint presentation. Customize this presentation with your union’s information to
show to your mentees/mentors.
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Index - ListServ
Definition of ListServ. A mailing list program for communicating with other people
who have subscribed to the same list. Using Email, you can participate in listservs
pertaining to your topics of interest. When you submit a message to the server your
message is relayed to all those on the listserv. You receive messages from other
participants via E-mail.
Create your own ListServs for Mentors and Mentees
Add Mentors to a Mentor ListServ and Mentees to a Mentee ListServ. Periodically
communicate with each group on the mentoring program through ListServ emails.
If Mentees or Mentors have something to share with both or either group they can
simply send an email and it will be automatically broadcast to group members.
Remind mentors and mentees to let you know if they update their email address.
Sign up for the Union Plus ListServs for Mentors and Mentees
Union Plus maintains a ListServ for current and past participants of The Union Leaders
of the Future Mentoring Program. The ListServs can be a great resource to help guide
your mentoring experience.
To sign up for these lists send an email to [email protected]
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Index - Recommended Reading
Mentees:
Making the Most of Being Mentored
Mentors:
The Elements of Mentoring
Mentees and Mentors:
Labor Movement:

Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King’s Last
Campaign , Michael K. Honey

State of the Unions: How Labor Can Strengthen the Middle Class, Improve Our
Economy and Regain Political Influence, Philip Dine

Why Unions Matter, Michael Yates

A Short History of the US Working Class: From colonial times to the twenty-first
century, Paul Le Blanc
Women in Leadership:

“I Knew I Could Do This, Seven Strategies That Promote Women’s Activism and
Leadership in Unions” (PDF)
Generational Differences:

“Generational Differences in the Workplace” (PDF)

Baby-boomers

Generation X

Generation Y or The Millennials
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Index - AFL-CIO Constituency Groups

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA)

Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW)

A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI)

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU)

Labor Alliance for Latin American Advancement
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Index - Mentoring Tips
Mentoring tips are designed to supplement mentoring conversations and give you
additional resources. Read the tips and then revisit your goals with your
mentor/mentee.

It's Time for a New Challenge

Better Goals for a New Year

It's All About Connections!

What Makes a Great Leader?

Get to the Root Cause of Conflict

Tips for Recalibrating your Mentoring
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Mentoring Tip - It’s Time for a New Challenge!
Throughout the mentoring year, the mentee is working toward goals declared at the
front end of the process. The mentor may have given the mentee assignments, things
to reflect upon, actions to try, or other appropriate “homework.” We hope that this has
provided growth for the mentee.
This month, we would encourage you to “take it to the next level” with a new
challenge! We want you to work together to identify an assignment (related to the
mentee’s goals) that will take the mentee a bit out of their comfort zone. Of course,
you also need to balance the safety/challenge continuum so as not to teeter out on the
edge of the abyss! The mentor should be there to support the mentee as they work
toward this challenge.
Prior to your session, consider the following:
1. Mentee, prior to the session, answer the following questions:

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



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What have I done so far (activities, assignments, etc.) related to my goals?
What have I not done or tried?
Where might I be playing it too safe?
What feels like the next right step in terms of a challenge that will help me
grow?
If I up that challenge even further, what might I try?
What is my biggest concern related to this challenge?
What support will I need from my mentor?
2. Mentors, prior to the session, consider the following:



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

What have I assigned the mentee so far related to their goal?
Have we gotten stuck in “talk” versus “action?” If so, what action is now
needed?
What feels like the next right step in terms of a challenge to help the mentee
grow?
If we up that challenge even further, what might I have the mentee try?
What are the cautions I would give the mentee related to this challenge?
What support can I offer to my mentee?
3. Make agreements for actions you will take:

What one next step will the mentee take? What is the actual “assignment?”
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

How will the mentor assist in this?
How will we “mine” for the learning from this challenge? When will we talk
again to do this?
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Mentoring Tip - Better Goals for a New Year
Many of us set New Year’s resolutions each year that we promptly abandon. We want
to encourage you instead to establish clear goals for your year that you will actually
take action on. You began this process during our mentoring orientation and now may
be a good time to revisit these goals. Following are some tips on setting more effective
goals for 2010.
Consider using one of your next Mentoring sessions to discuss the following:
Tip 1: Set a Vision. A vision is the longer-term outcome you want; whereas goals
are the short to mid-term methods for getting there. Consider, what is your longerterm vision for your career? Where do you hope to be professionally (and personally)
in 3 to 5 years?
Tip 2: Align your Goals. Review the Mentoring Goals you have already established.
Revise these goals together in a mentoring session by considering: Do these goals
move you toward your vision? If not, what is missing? What, if anything, might take
you off your longer-term focus? What needs to be added? Be sure not to set too many
goals for the year! 2 to 3 goals is just about right; anymore can dilute your focus.
Tip 3: Make your Goals Smarter. You may know the acronym of SMART as it
relates to goal-setting. In your mentoring session, review your goals to see how
SMART—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound—they are. Ask
yourself: Am I clear on what I am doing? Do I have a deadline? How will I measure
my progress? Is this doable in the timeframe I have allotted? Do my mentor and I
believe I can do it? Adjust your goals accordingly. Make sure your goals do not
become those abandoned New Year’s Resolutions!
Tip 4: Determine Actions to move you forward. Now, consider ways to move
your Goals and Vision forward through actions. What concrete activities will you do to
meet each goal? What can your mentor help you with? What other resources are
available? Each month in your mentoring session, brainstorm specific next steps you
can take to move a goal forward.
Tip 5: Don’t go it alone. One of the great things about Mentoring is that it allows
you a thinking-partner and support system for your professional life. And yet, your
mentor alone cannot be your only support. Take time in your mentoring session to
discuss: Who else can support me in reaching these goals? Who will help keep me
honest and challenge me? Who can I talk to when I am struggling with taking action?
Take time to expand your network of support.
“Vision without action is daydreaming, but action without vision is just random activity.”
—Joel Barker
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Mentoring Tip – It’s all about Connections!
A key benefit of mentoring is learning to navigate and expand new territories in your
given field. One method to do this is expanding the actual territory through new
connections, networking venues and capacity to network. The mentor almost always
has a healthy network of colleagues and connections that has been built over the years.
And, so, for that matter, does the mentee.
This month, consider how to continue to access and build the network and connections
of the mentee.
Mentee, prior to the session, answer the following questions:








Who is in my current network of connections? And, who is in their network?
Who do I most need to be in contact with on a regular basis and how might I
do that?
Who have I not reached out to, but would like to?
What new connections would I like to make to help me reach my goals?
What venues for networking currently exist for me—what am I taking
advantage of and not?
What other venues do I want to explore?
Who is in my mentor’s network that I would like to explore as a connection?
What do I want to know about networking from my mentor?
Mentors, prior to the session, consider the following:




In what ways do you think your mentee could expand his/her network? How
would this benefit him/her?
What advice would you offer about your own methods/successes in
networking?
In what venues (theirs or yours) could you help create exposure for your
mentee? How might you do this?
Who is in your network that your mentee could use access to? How might
you arrange this?
Make agreements for actions you will take:


What one next step will the mentee take to grow his/her network or
networking methods?
How will the mentor assist in this?
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Mentoring Tip – What Makes a Great Leader?
The Union Privilege Mentoring Program is focused on developing Leaders of the Future.
There are many great thinkers and writers on leadership; and much in the literature
about what it takes to be a great leader. At its core, being a great union leader
involves:
 Knowing yourself as a leader—What are your values? What do you
believe? Why do you want to be in a leadership position? What are your
strengths and areas for development?

Knowing what you want to make happen—What is your vision? What are
your goals? What do you want to influence?

Putting your vision into action—How are your goals informing your actions
day to day? What do you need to do to put your ideas into action?
At one of your next Mentoring sessions, please have a conversation about leadership
and how you can put your own leadership into action. Following is guidance for this
conversation:
Mentee, prior to the session, answer the following questions:





Who are you as a leader—What are your values? What do you believe? Why
do you want to be in a leadership position?
What do you want to make happen—What is your vision? What are your
goals at this time? What do you want to influence?
What are you doing to put these goals into action? What else do you
want/need to do to move your leadership forward?
What leaders are inspiring you as you develop as a leader? What are their
traits, qualities?
What would you like to know from your mentor about leadership?
Mentors, prior to the session, consider the following:



Who most inspired when you were developing as a leader? What were their
traits, qualities?
What have been your own lessons-learned as a leader? What key pieces of
advice would you pass on to your mentee?
What feedback would you offer your mentee in terms of what you are seeing
that is “leader-like” and what you are seeing as areas for growth?
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

What ideas do you have for your mentee in terms of specific actions they can
take to practice and build their leadership skills?
What are some of your favorite readings on the topic of leadership?
Make agreements for actions the mentee can take:


What one next step will the mentee take to accelerate their growth as a
leader?
What will the mentee read on leadership?
Resources: Following are some classic and current readings on leadership:
Primal Leadership, Daniel Goleman
The Extraordinary Leader: Turning Good Managers into Great Leaders, John
Zenger and Joseph Folkman
On Becoming a Leader, Warren Bennis
Leadership on the Line, Ronald Heifetz & Marty Linksy
“The Work of Leadership,” Ronald Heifetz and Donald Laurie, Harvard Business
Review, January-February 1997
“Level 5 Leadership: The Triumph of Humility and Fierce Resolve,” Jim Collins,
Harvard Business Review, January 2001
“What Makes a Leader,” Daniel Goleman, Harvard Business Review, NovemberDecember 1998
“Primal Leadership: The Hidden Driver of Great Performance,” Goleman,
Boyatzis, McKee, Harvard Business Review, December 2001
“What Leaders Really Do,” John Kotter, Harvard Business Review, May-June
1990
Leadership from the Inside Out, Kevin Cashman
Getting it Done: How to Lead When You are Not in Charge, Roger Fisher
Getting Things Done When You are Not in Charge, Geoffrey Bellman
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Mentoring Tip -- Get to the Root Cause of Conflict
Albert Einstein once said, “Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from
weak minds.”
If you’re like most people, you cringe at the thought of conflict and avoid it whenever
possible. If you’re struggling with a coworker or someone else, take a step back and
look at the bigger picture.
Ask questions: Follow this self-questionnaire to discover the root of your problem
before confronting the other party.
Did I say or do something in such a way that could be taken offensively?
Everyone thinks of themselves as the perfect communicator. Make an honest
self-evaluation and think about nuances in your communication style that might
be taken differently than what you are meaning to project.
If yes, is there a way that I could have communicated my point without
being offensive?
Are you brief and to the point, or are you a bit more verbose? Realize that
someone who is “wordy,” may be put off by someone who isn’t so “wordy” and
vice versa. Make adjustments in your style to alleviate potential conflict. Think
about alternative ways to get your message across while paying special attention
to the other party’s style. Practice what you’re going to say before you confront
the individual(s).
What can be done to remedy the situation?
While you may encounter people who can’t “bury the hatchet,” it is important to
at least ask the other party if anything can be done to make things right. When
dealing with a coworker, this is especially important because you will most likely
see them daily. Swallow your pride and be the bigger person – it’s what leaders
do!
Are you going into the situation with an open mind?
If you make an attempt to handle conflict with a “win-lose” or “lose-lose”
mentality, then take a few more moments to let everything process. When
dealing with conflict, the goal is for both parties to walk away feeling as though
they’ve “won.” How can this be accomplished?
a. Both parties should paraphrase the opposing viewpoint to illustrate their
understanding of the matter at hand
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b. Instead of saying, “You did ___, and I’m angry,” try using “I statements.”
Avoid the overuse of “you” because it can make someone feel as though
they are being attacked. Instead say, “I feel ___ when you ___.”
Example: “I feel hurt when you criticize my political affiliation.”
c. Agreeing to disagree is sometimes the only way a conflict will be
“resolved.” In this case, be sure that you tell the other party that you
respect their opinion – just saying that can go a long way.
Conflict is something we cannot escape, but we can do our part in making
uncomfortable situations more bearable if we take the time to empathize with the other
person. Handling conflict will not happen overnight, but taking a retrospective look at
past conflict and its outcome to get a better idea of the areas that need improvement.
Mentees, discuss with your mentor a time when someone challenged them. Ask the
following questions:
1. Can you name an instance when you were in a position of leadership, and
you experienced great conflict?
2. How did you overcome the conflict?
3. Have you used any of the techniques listed above to handle uncomfortable
situations?
4. Do you have any other suggestions/tips to deal with conflict other than those
listed above?
5. What is the greatest piece of advice someone has given you during your time
as a union leader?
Mentors: Please be ready to discuss with your mentee 1 or 2 instances where you
experienced conflict and how you overcame it.
Mentees: Share a period in your life when you faced adversity/conflict. How did you
handle it? Ask your mentor how they would’ve handled it.
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Mentoring Tip – Recalibrating your Mentoring
You are now 6 months into the mentoring program—can you believe it? Now is a good
time to “recalibrate” with your mentoring partner.
Tip 1: Get your logistics back on track
1. Create a schedule your monthly calls for several months in advance. A
consistent day and time will help the call become routine.
The Mentee should be the one to initiate this scheduling. Ask your
mentor his/her preferred date/time and recommend several monthly dates/times
for the sessions. If your mentor has an Executive or Administrative Assistant,
please use this resource to do the scheduling.
2. Know your mentoring partner’s preferred contact method and
information, including preferred e-mail and phone numbers .
3. Be clear about who’s placing the call (mentor or mentee).
4. If you need to cancel/reschedule with your partner, please do so as soon as
you know of the conflict, and at least 24 hours in advance. Please do not “stand
up” your partner by not calling at the appointed time.
5. Prepare for the sessions: Before the call, the mentee should consider,
“What action have I taken or what has occurred since our last session related to
my goals?” and “What do I want to focus on today with my mentor?” The
mentor can begin the session with these same questions. (See the Session
Preparation for Mentee form and the Session Structure for Mentor form.
Tip 2: Sharpen your mentoring focus
In your next conversation, revisit the original mentee goals.
Goals: What was the goal?
Action:
What actions have you taken?
What have you learned?
What other actions do you now need to take to make progress toward your goal?
How can your mentor help?
What resources or connections do you need?
Progress:
What progress have you seen?
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What progress would you like to see by the end of the mentoring program? Is
this goal now complete?
If so, what is the next goal you would now like to focus on?*
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