Starting Strong: A Mentoring Fable
August 2014, Jossey-Bass
In Starting Strong, mentoring experts Lois J. Zachary and Lory A. Fischler weave a compelling tale that exemplifies the concepts, highlights the dynamics, and outlines the issues involved in mentoring relationships. The authors use the form of a fable to tell the story of a budding mentoring relationship filled with possibilities, problems, and triumphs. The story of Cynthia, a seasoned professional, and her new mentee Rafa, brings to life Zachary and Fischler's wealth of mentoring suggestions and best practices and each episode of the fable is accompanied by reflection questions, key learnings, and strategies that readers can apply to their own mentoring relationships. The authors include a conversation playbook that guides mentors and mentees through six essential conversations that will help them establish a strong mentoring connection, and keep it moving forward.
As organizations face the transition of departing Boomers and arriving Millennials, Starting Strong offers a hands-on and readable guide to create effective mentoring relationships that will ensure the success of that transition. The book:
- Covers the key components of a successful mentoring relationship including building trust, establishing a comfort zone (and then having the courage to leave it), holding productive meetings, dealing with power dynamics, setting goals, and keeping momentum going
- Shows how to avoid common pitfalls and overcome mentoring obstacles
- Applies to any organizational or institutional setting
Starting Strong is more than an engaging story of mentorship, it's a vital resource for understanding how to implement and sustain a meaningful mentoring relationship.
Part One: The Fable
The Week Before: Questions Before We Start 3
The First Meeting: Powering Up 11
The Second Meeting: Taking Care of Business 35
The Third Meeting: Let’s Get Real 55
The Fourth Meeting: Sorting It Out 77
The Fifth Meeting: Straight Talk 107
The Sixth Meeting: Holding Up a Mirror 127
Epilogue: Five Years Later 151
Cynthia’s and Rafa’s Advice for Mentors and Mentees 159
Part Two: The Mentoring Conversation Playbook
Moving the Conversation from Monologue to Dialogue 165
Strategies for Good Conversation 171
Six Essential Mentoring Conversations 179
Afterword: Starting Strong, Moving Forward 193
Suggested Reading 195
About the Authors 199
LOIS J. ZACHARY is president of Leadership Development Services and director of its Center for Mentoring Excellence. Her innovative mentoring approaches and expertise in coaching leaders and their organizations in designing, implementing, and evaluating learner-centered mentoring programs have been used globally by a wide array of clients, including Fortune 100 companies, government organizations, and educational institutions, both for-profit and nonprofit. She is the author of The Mentor’s Guide, The Mentee’s Guide, and Creating a Mentoring Culture, all from Jossey-Bass.
LORY A. FISCHLER is a senior associate with Leadership Development Services and the associate director of its Center for Mentoring Excellence. She has over twenty-five years’ experience in consulting, training, and coaching clients from a diverse array of organizations, including the healthcare, manufacturing, government, and nonprofit sectors. She is the coauthor of The Mentee’s Guide: Making Mentoring Work for You.