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Formal mentoring is a great way for an experienced Waze editor to help expand the community, and often improve skills at the same time. You will need to become an authorized Waze Mentor to participate. How do you become a Waze Mentor? Start by reading the page and the Waze formal mentoring guidelines. Then, fill out the mentor form so the community is aware of your interest. A Waze Champ will go over with you anything else you may need to know or do. See the Formal Mentoring page for additional information.
Waze Formal Mentoring is intended to be an enjoyable one-on-one interaction between a Mentor and Mentee. It will improve the skills of the Mentee as a Waze editor. At the same time the Mentor gains the opportunity to expand his/her own insight, social network, and skills.
While you may develop a long-term relationship with the Mentee, the Mentorship should have a well defined end point. It will provide enough time and level of interaction to impart a particular skill and no more.
That's formal Mentoring. There are many other informal mentoring methods using the Forum, WME Chat, WME Live Users, Private Messages, and external contact (e-mail, meetups, screen sharing). Formal mentoring doesn't replace any of that, it just provides a deeper and more better defined interaction.
Requirements: Becoming a Mentor
- Read and understand this document and the Waze formal mentoring guidelines|Waze formal mentoring guidelines
- Commitment. You are committed to Waze standards of etiquette. You will be making some Mentorship partnership agreements with mentees, and you will commit to those agreements. You will invest your time and oversight in making sure the agreement is successful.
- Skills. Mentors are experienced Waze Community members, and have Rank 4, 5, or 6. You don't have to have deep skills in every area of Waze — just make sure you can describe the editing and other community skills that you are strong in. You can suggest other Mentors to your Mentee for building skills outside your area of expertise. Mentors should be Rank-4 editors or higher. If you have unusually strong skills in a particular area, you may even mentor someone above your own rank in that area.
What you need to do with each Mentee
- Be a positive role model. Your Mentee should learn what its like to be an excellent member of the Waze Community, observing your interactions and behavior in the Forums and elsewhere. Show your mentees how to maintain a good attitude, even when facing adversity in the crowd-sourced community of Waze.
- Connect to your Mentee as a person. The most successful mentoring partnerships occur when the two editors get to know and understand each other as people. It isn't just about the skills! Be open with the Mentee, act as a sounding board, share your successes and mistakes, praise the Mentees successes, and gently explain and correct Mentee mistakes. If you sometimes cannot interact as often as they like or need, work together to find a solution, or bring in a trusted third party to help negotiate. When the mentoring partnership is over, you may continue an informal relationship with the Mentee, too!
- Have a desire to make your Mentee successful. It’s more about the Mentee than about you.
- Listen. Don’t begin with a lecture. Ask a few open-ended questions, and then sit back and let the Mentee talk. You'll get a feel for what the Mentee can do already, and where you should be headed together.
- Set specific, measurable goals. Formal mentoring is not open-ended assistance. Help your Mentee figure out what the next steps are that he or she wants to take in improving abilities as an editor. I want to go up to the next rank — that's not a goal. I want to learn how to best interact with drivers reporting UR — that's a goal! Or, I want to earn the tools needed to analyze routing directions. The Mentor can evaluate those for success or failure.
- Don't do, just asist. Sometimes, especially at the beginning, you will need to show the Mentee how to accomplish a specific task. But mostly, the Mentee should be doing the work, while you look it over and make suggestions or answer questions. As the skills build, the Mentee will do more on his or her own, often offline, with you reviewing the completed work. If you do most of the work, the Mentee is not practicing and not learning effectively.
- The end. Always seek to end or complete the mentoring activity based upon your initial agreement or when you think you’ve gone as far as you can with the stated goals. In some cases you may suggest further mentoring with another person who knows more about other topics. In some cases, the Mentee may end the relationship when they are ready. If something is interfering with your ability to mentor (changing commitments, personality conflict, incorrect skills match, language) then you may also choose to end it early, but it would be best if you considered a third party to help end it on the best of terms.
How you will follow up after mentoring is complete
Shouldn't most of this section be in the intro, not at the end? Should only be summarized here as guidance for follow-up?
The goal of Waze Formal Mentoring is to quickly raise the abilities of editors, so we have a larger pool of experienced, accomplished volunteers. We’re growing the size of the community, and the quality of the community, and we are removing roadblocks to participation and discouraging talent loss (burnout, disinterest, frustration).
Not every mentorship need to result in an editor rank change (number of cones), nor a new badge or set of responsibilities. However, at the end of a mentorship, you should consider whether the Mentee has become accomplished enough to formally rise in the community. Even if the Mentee has not, consider suggesting to the Mentee where to focus energy: on using the newly learned skills … on finding the next area to be accomplished in (whether through experience, practice, or additional mentoring) … or sometimes, if the Mentee is not proficient, advising him or her to continue focusing on their existing skills.
If the Mentee has gained many skills needed to rise in the community, you should point that out to the Regional Manager for the Mentee’s home area. (If you are a Rank 6 editor, discuss it with other Champs, unless it is a low-level decision within your sole discretion to grant.)
Sometimes, you may find that the Mentee is just not able to pick up a particular skill, or may even lack skills that an editor of their existing rank should have. Be sure to call that out to the Regional Manager (or to other Champs); never make a decision on your own to lower the rank of an editor or suspend an editor due to observations during mentoring. Doing so could lead to loss of trust in the mentoring program by the community.
All the Mentoring program pages are linked in the box below. New pages can be added to this list by clicking here.