Mentors role in the Reps Program
A bit of History
When Mentorships within the Reps program was started, a Mentor positions was a hierarchical one. For example, mentees would need a mentor to review and approve their budget requests. Help and training could be part of the relationship, but it was not mandatory one.
However, following the Reps-Next proposal, we decided to approach this relationship differently. Rather than just helping mentees with their budget request, we wanted Mentors to help mentees to challenge themselves to be better and to support their personal development while they support Mozilla’s mission.
So, while we maintained the term "Mentor", the role that we wanted the Mentors to play became similar to that of a coach, which is why some parts of this training are based on Coaching methods.
Mentors as Coaches
A coach focuses on short-term development, with emphasis on enhancing current skills or on acquiring new skills. Good coaches create a safe space to have an open discussion, ask the right questions (and genuinely listen to the answers), and constructively challenge.
Coachee generally know what is the right or appropriate thing to do. Often your job is to draw the answer out of the individual. If you give the person the answer, she/he is less likely to own and fully enroll in the solution or answer.
Credit: Original material and more information on the role of a coach can be found here.
Current Mentor/Mentee relationship in the Reps Program
The mentor/mentee’s relationship in the Reps Program is now focused on personal development. But as we are working in a Mozilla’s context, Mentors will work not only to support their Mentees skills' development, but on how those skills function inside the organization and help advance the Mozilla mission.
The last changes in Mentorship came with the Reps Mentors Project (2021/2021), which built on past work to clarify Mentors role and to provide more structure for Mentors' activities.
To carry out these activities, and to fulfill your Role of a Reps Mentors, you will need a series of skills, such as being able to support your mentee in drafting their OKRs and carrying out a coaching session. The following sections provide more information on these skills.