O'Reilly logo
live online training icon Live Online training

How to be a better mentor

Increase retention, improve productivity, engage employees, and cultivate leadership

Susan Schoenfeld

Research shows that mentoring matters but not every organization has a successful mentoring program and most mentors don’t know how to mentor! Changing workforce demographics, increased diversity, and shifts in work-life balance demands have altered employee needs, expectations and workplace relationships. How can you develop your mentoring skills so that mentoring is a positive experience for both you and the person you mentor? How can you create an environment where mentoring can flourish? In this workshop we will answer these questions and review best practices from a range of organizations.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

By the end of this live online course, you’ll understand:

  • The value of mentoring and its valuable role in a modern work environment
  • The role and responsibilities of a mentor and mentee
  • When and why a mentoring relationship is working
  • What Reverse Mentoring encompasses
  • What skills a mentor needs to have

This training course is for you because...

  • You are a mentor in your organization and you would like some tips on how to be a better mentor.
  • You are a leader in your company and the current mentoring program isn’t working and you want to improve it.
  • You have never been a mentor and would like to know how to be a good mentor since most companies encourage mentoring and/or have mentoring programs.


  • You should currently be a mentor, or someone who would like to be a mentor at work or in a volunteer organization.

Recommended follow-up:

About your instructor

  • Susan Schoenfeld, MA, has more than 20 years of corporate experience, particularly in the legal arena. She currently works with the Leaders Institute providing team building programs for corporations. Susan has worked at Baker & McKenzie as a professional development and performance management consultant where she was responsible for attorney reviews and the creation of professional development plans. Prior to that, she spent more than 11 years as Professional Development Director at Foley & Lardner LLP. Susan has taught courses at several universities. She has provided customized coaching, seminars, strategic planning and motivational speaking services to individuals, businesses, and community groups statewide. She is a certified DISC instructor and she has taught several different series of management skills workshops to law firm administrators.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Section One: What is mentoring, what is its’ purpose and how is it different from coaching?

  • Discussion Questions
  • How do you know how to balance the four functions of mentoring?
  • What was your experience as a mentee?
  • Did you ever have a memorable mentor?
  • Exercise: Video on Coaching vs. mentoring
  • Survey: How to Evaluate yourself as a mentor?
  • Q&A

Section Two: Different types of Mentoring Programs and Reverse Mentoring

  • Presentation
  • Exercise: Describe the differences between yourself and the different generations you work with
  • Discussion: Differences between the generations
  • Video: “How old is old”
  • Q&A

Section Three: Expectations, phases, challenges and skills for mentors and mentees

  • Presentation
  • Discussion
  • Presentation Relationship Challenges and Mentoring Skills
  • Discussion of Handout
  • Exercise How to set SMART goals
  • Q&A
  • Break - 5 Mins

Section Four: Listening, Feedback, Understanding Yourself

  • Presentation
  • Exercise - Different Responses
  • Exercise - Are you a good listener?
  • Exercise - Providing feedback
  • Exercise - Behavioral Styles
  • Discussion - Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Q&A

Section Five: Creating an environment of trust and eliminating conflict

  • Presentation
  • Discussion
  • Case Studies
  • Q&A