Volunteering as a Mentor

What is involved in being a Leadership Victoria mentor? As a mentor you may be involved in mentoring individuals and/or small groups.  Please see our mentor role profile on our website for further details.

What types of programs involve mentoring? Mentoring plays a key role in many of our programs.  In some cases, our programs are solely focused on mentoring, though generally mentoring will complement other program activities such as leadership development programs, workshops and even coaching.  Our programs can largely be categorised into three types: community based; professional development; and, not-for-profit Board mentoring (you can nominate which types of programs you would like to be involved in when registering your interest to be a mentor).

How do I register to be a mentor? If you are new to mentoring with Leadership Victoria, you will need to complete our expression of interest form to register your interest to be a mentor.

How do I find out about mentoring opportunities? Once registered as a mentor, we will contact you (generally via email) as mentoring opportunities arise that fit with your mentoring preferences (provided in your expression of interest form).

What is the time commitment for mentors? Our expectation is that mentors meet with their mentee face-to-face at minimum once a month for the duration of a program.  Usually the time commitment involved in volunteering as a mentor is about 1-2 hours per month.  Mentoring in community based programs tends to require more support than in our professional development programs.

How do I update my mentoring preferences and/or personal details? If you wish to update your mentoring preferences and/or personal information (e.g. contact details and/or resume) please email mentoring@leadershipvictoria.org

Mentor Selection and Matching Process

How are mentors selected and matched to mentees? Mentor selection and matching takes into account the learning goals identified by the program participant (mentee), as well as the expressed preferences, experience and background of both the mentor and mentee.

When will I be notified if I have been selected and matched to a mentee? We will notify you by email if you have been matched to a program participant.  We aim to notify mentors one to two weeks prior to the program launch/induction session.  We understand this time frame is relatively short so recommend you continue to tentatively hold the program dates in your calendar until we have notified you of the mentor selection and matching outcome.

Will I automatically be matched with a mentee? Sometimes we receive more mentors expressing interest in being involved in a particular program than we have actual participants requiring a mentor.  On these occasions we will aim to match the mentee to the mentor that best meets their learning and development needs.  We will notify you via email if we are unable to match you to a program participant.

Mentoring Relationship

Who initiates contact in the mentoring relationship? The expectation is that the mentee initiates first contact with their mentor.  In many programs, the initial introduction between the mentor and mentee will take place at a program launch and/or induction session, so mentors are strongly encouraged to attend this session.

When and where do mentoring meetings occur? Mentoring meetings should ideally commence within approximately two weeks of the initial introduction.  Dates, times and locations of mentoring meetings are arranged by mutual agreement between the mentor and mentee.  Mentoring meetings are expected to take place in public spaces and never at either the mentor’s or mentee’s home.

My mentee has not made contact with me, what do I do? If after two weeks (following the initial introduction), your mentee has not contacted you to organise a time to meet, please go ahead and make contact with them.  If you have trouble connecting with them, please notify Leadership Victoria.

Do all meetings need to be face-to-face? The first meeting is where you and your mentee get to learn about each other and negotiate the parameters for working together so it’s essential to meet face-to-face.  The preferred method of communication for subsequent meetings is face-to-face, however, we recognise this may not always be possible. From time to time, alternative forms of communication might need to be considered such as telephone, teleconference or videoconferencing.  Less formal communication can be maintained in between meetings using email or even ‘chat’ mediums such as Skype.
What if the relationship with my mentee is not working? If you have met with your mentee several times and the mentoring relationship is not progressing, then please contact Leadership Victoria as soon as possible to discuss the situation.  We understand that sometimes a mentor mentee match may not be right, so it’s okay to speak up.

Resources and Support

What support is available to mentors? Mentors are supported in a variety of ways, some of which include: mentor briefing sessions; mentor guidelines and other resources; support of a Mentor Co-ordinator for the duration of some of our programs; and, support of an informal Mentoring Community of Practice.

What is the Mentor Guide? The Mentor Guide is aimed specifically at guiding the mentor through the development of the mentoring relationship with the mentee.  You will be provided with a copy of the Guide at the start of the mentoring program.  The Guide outlines the Leadership Victoria approach to mentoring and also provides mentoring resources and templates (e.g. mentoring agreement, first meeting worksheet, etc) to support you.

What is the role of a Mentor Co-ordinator? The Mentor Co-ordinator is usually an experienced Leadership Victoria mentor who is responsible for supporting the delivery of the mentoring component of a program.  This encompasses supporting the selection of mentors, participating in the mentor mentee matching process, participating in the mentor induction session, providing peer-mentoring to mentors, facilitating communication between mentors and mentees, and participating in the mentor evaluation of programs.  The Mentor Coordinator is your first point of contact if you have questions/concerns/issues with your mentee or the mentoring relationship.

What is the Mentoring Community of Practice? An informal Community of Practice has been established for Leadership Victoria mentors and Associates to reflect and improve on their leadership mentoring practice; share experiences and insights; and to discuss expectations of mentors and mentees.  Events are held at Leadership Victoria several times a year and information is posted on a (private) LinkedIn group.  Please see the Mentor Guide for details on how to join the LinkedIn group and/or to receive notification of upcoming events.

What if I still have questions? If you require further assistance or have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 03 9651 6590 or mentoring@leadershipvictoria.org