Mentoring Conversations Visualized: More Data, New Discoveries

Two more mentoring sessions recorded, analyzed, and visualized! The first infographic is a conversation between an idea stage entrepreneur and a mentor. It's also a first time meeting between this particular mentor and entrepreneur. The second infographic is a conversation between an entrepreneur that's built a prototype and a mentor. The entrepreneur and mentor depicted conversing in the second infographic have been meeting for several months now and have an established relationship.

Idea Stage Entrepreneur

Prototype Stage Entrepreneur

When comparing these two conversations with the first mentoring conversation I visualized, which was a first time meeting between an idea stage entrepreneur and mentor, the similarities are mostly in how the conversations begin. The entrepreneur has to bring the mentor up to speed about what he or she has been doing for the past month or so before the mentor can provide any strategic advice. This part of the conversation is highlighted in burgundy. Furthermore, another similarity is the total amount of time taken up by current/past strategy. It takes a significant portion of the mentoring session to bring the mentor up to speed on what the entrepreneur has been doing and is currently doing. I do not yet know if it's good or bad that it takes somewhere between 10 - 15 minutes to discuss current/past strategies.

One noticeable difference between these two mentoring sessions and the first mentoring session is the amount of questions asked by the mentor from the first mentoring conversation. I think the difference in the amount of questions asked has to do with the mentoring/advising style of the mentor.

The part I'm still struggling to figure out is how to measure an effective mentoring/advising conversation. Looking at the infographics, I'm not yet sure I can see or point to markers that comprise an effective mentoring conversation.

Even if I can't figure out how to measure an effective mentoring/advising conversation, implementing a prototype will show one of three things: positive deviation from the norm, no deviation from the norm, or negative deviation from the norm. A positive deviation will be when a prototype aids in facilitating knowledge transfer. No deviation will be when the prototype did just as well as there being no prototype implemented into the conversation. Negative deviation is when the prototype hinders knowledge transfer from mentor to entrepreneur. In other words, designing a prototype for these conversations will either lead to something good, something bad, or absolutely nothing...

You can see one possible prototype here, or another prototype here.

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