As awkward as “mentee” sounds (I feel like I’m looking for minty sweets), it’s the preferred word at IBM. Protégé smacks of the old boys’ club, I guess.
One of my priorities for 2010 is to share what I’m learning with even more people. The slow way is to reflect on what I’ve learned, write blog posts, and package that up as presentations and podcasts. The fast way is to find people who want to learn what I’ve learned (and am learning), braindump ideas in response to their questions, and make them responsible for writing up notes and further sharing what we’ve learned.
Mentoring people is much better than braindumping things on my own because:
- We focus on what’s valuable to people
- Questions prompt me to think
- Questions mean I don’t skip over anything I haven’t explained well enough
- Other people’s perspectives (like yours!) enrich the content
- We can reach more people
Some of the things I’d be happy to explore through mentorship or peer-mentorship, roughly in order of interest (top interests first):
- Patterns and tools for community interaction through social media
- Presentation organization
- Presentation design
- Blogging (topics, editing/wordsmithing, exploration, general website ideas, but not technical help with WordPress)
- Presentation delivery (particularly remote)
- Visual thinking, notetaking, mindmapping, and information visualization
- Connecting and networking, particularly as an introvert
- Figuring life out, finding and following your passion
- Scaling up and getting better personal ROI on your effort
- Delegation, virtual assistance, outsourcing, and working with coaches
- Creativity and brainstorming
- Technology adoption and evangelism
- Editing and wordsmithing
- Cooking, baking, gardening, sewing, and other aspects of domestic bliss
- Getting on board as a new hire
- Getting used to life abroad
- Frugal personal finance
- Social networking (which tools to use when)
I can give occasional tips on Drupal and Emacs, but I’m not focused on Drupal development at the moment, and there are much more active Emacs geeks out there.
If you think of a topic that you’d like to learn about that you know I can help you with, suggest it too. =)
How it might work:
- Leave a comment on any relevant blog post with your question, use the handy contact form, or e-mail your questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org . No mentoring relationship required. =) I like questions! I get to think about them and blog what I’ve learned.
- Contact me with an introduction and what you’re interested in. I prefer to communicate through blogs, e-mail, or the phone (with blogs preferred the most). We can set up a 20-minute or 50-minute call and chat about what’s on your mind.
- If it turns out we’ve got lots to talk about and we mesh well together, let’s set up recurring calls and have an ongoing conversation. If lots of people have similar questions, it would be interesting to set up group conferences or a community so that we can all learn from each other.
“Pay me back” by sharing your thoughts and actions taken. =) I don’t want ideas to disappear into single conversations. If so, I might as well just blog about it myself, and help way more people. Share as much as you can of what we learn. At the minimum, please send me your notes. Better yet, blog, podcast, videocast, or otherwise share what we talked about. We all win!
So, how can I help you or someone you know?