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Reading and understanding this document and the “Waze Formal Mentoring Guidelines” is the minimum requisite to become a Waze Mentor. Other requirements will be required by Waze staff and Champs involved in USA self-management. These requirements will be discussed with you when you express interest. Therefore this information is directed toward potential Mentors, but is open to be viewed by Mentees for their information and more full understanding of the mentoring process.
See the Mentoring / USA page for additional information.
Waze Formal Mentoring is intended to be an enjoyable one-on-one interaction between a Mentor and Mentee with the objective of improving Waze Community skills of the Mentee while and at the same time growing the insight, social network, and skills of the Mentor. A formal mentoring relationship will have an agreed upon end. There are many other informal methods of mentoring on Waze including interactions in the Forum, WME Chat, and through Private Messages. This formal mentoring is not intended to replace any of that activity. It is intended to add opportunity for deeper dialog for a Mentee and augment all the informal mentoring that occurs in the Waze Community.
Requirements: Becoming a Mentor
- Read and understand this document.
- Read and understand the “Waze Formal Mentoring Guidelines” (to be located on the Wiki) that contains suggested details of the process of mentoring.
- Make sure you can work with others in a respectful interaction and commit to your Mentees improvement in the Waze Community through a one-on-one interaction.
- Make sure you can describe the skills that you can mentor and be able to hand off your Mentee to other mentors that may have skills the Mentee needs. Mentors should be Rank-4 editors or higher. You should typically only mentor editors who are 2 or more ranks below you (Rank 5 should usually not mentor Rank 4, for example, but could mentor Ranks 1-3). However, in some cases, an editor with strong skills in a particular area may mentor almost anyone for that narrow skillset - including editors above their own rank.
- If you seek additional ideas about mentoring, simply Google “mentor training” and review other resources.
Mentor Code of Conduct
This is a list of behaviors you should seek to embody as a Formal Mentor.
- Act professionally and positive at all times.
- You are a representative of the Formal Mentoring activity and Waze Community. Your behavior affects your Mentee and the reputation of the Formal Mentoring effort.
- Contact Champs and other major editors in the area your Mentee will be actively editing and let them know what is going on. Include them as they request or as you negotiate with them.
- Contact Forum and Wiki Moderators to let them know what is going on if your Mentee will be doing something unusual in those support areas.
- Demonstrate kindness to your Mentee.
- Do not become frustrated with the Mentee's ability to learn. Rather, adjust your approach and, if significant, adjust the objectives, goals, and timelines of Formal Mentoring.
- Be reasonable about your Mentee's effort, respect their time.
- Do not be overly demanding of their time. You and your Mentee are both volunteers. Everyone has different amounts of time to contribute.
- Set expectations about the amount of time invested and progress made towards Formal Mentoring objectives.
- Be responsive to your Mentee. Let them know when you will and will not be available.
- Demonstrate humility - be humble in your role as Formal Mentor.
- Do not use your status as a Formal Mentor to demonstrate an elitist approach or discount others.
- Do not arbitrarily condemn or discount others approaches or advice that your Mentee may hear through informal mentoring or other sources. There are often differences of opinion or may be misunderstandings. Rather, reinforce that what a Mentee learns from others may be valuable, but not always applicable to activities in your mentoring relationship.
- There is a situation where Mentors may want to limit applicability of advice given by others in order to reduce frustrations in the Formal Mentoring process. It would be highly frustrating, as a Formal Mentor, to have others telling your Mentee not to do what you say or to do something else. Within the context of a Formal Mentoring activity, the Mentor might want to provide guidance such as, "Others may have differing opinion on this topic, but for the purpose of this activity we will just go with my approach."
- You are not always correct. You can learn from your Mentee. Don't immediately assume your Mentee is wrong. They may have performed research about knowledge of which you are unaware.
- Suggest your Mentee use critical thinking. You or any other person may be wrong. What is reasonable? What confidence do they have in the information?
- Be respectful and supportive of other Formal and informal Mentors.
- Utilize the techniques and approaches listed in the training, not your own.
- Each time you start a new mentoring effort, come back to this training and glance through it quickly to refresh you understanding.
- We are trying to create an improving consistent approach for Formal Mentoring Waze editors. If something is missing or could be improved in this approach, work with the community of Formal Mentors to change and improve it! That effort will help others.
What you agree to do with each Mentee
Each time that you start a Formal Mentoring effort, you should review these steps to remind yourself of what options you have in Formal Mentoring. Most of these activities will be used each time. Some may not apply.
- Be a positive role model for the Waze Community.
- Your Mentee should learn what its like to be an excellent member of the Waze Community by observing your interactions and behavior in the Forums and elsewhere. Try to be as positive as possible even though one can encounter frustrations in a community, crowd-sourced environment like Waze. Rather than focusing on the negative, focus on how to overcome and turn around difficult situations into a positive result.
- Connect to your Mentee as a person.
- Because this is a one-on-one direct relationship, don’t forget to spend time getting to know your Mentee. This will make your interactions more successful.
- Have a desire to make your Mentee successful.
- It’s about the Mentee, not you. Help make your Mentee successful by sharing your knowledge, insights, and experiences. Share your successes and mistakes and how you overcame them.
- Ask open-ended questions to start.
- Talk less to start. Don’t begin right away with a lecture. Take a more passive role in the beginning. By asking your Mentee open-ended questions, you can help identify what their strengths and weaknesses are, and what they truly want to accomplish.
- 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” is not a goal. “I want to learn how to best interact with drivers reporting URs” or “I want to earn the tools needed to analyze routing directions” are good goals, and ones that the Mentor can evaluate for success or failure.
- Be challenging, credible, respectful.
- You don’t need to have all the answers. You are not supposed to do all the work. Suggest what they should do rather than do it yourself. Suggest where the answers are located rather than answering every detail. This approach will help the Mentee think more and consider options for themselves. You can discuss and guide them through choices as needed.
- Maintain trust and act as a sounding board.
- Trust is important in a one-on-one mentoring interaction so thoughts, ideas, and mistakes can be shared in an open way to better learn. To the extent possible, do not discuss details of your interactions with other Wazers. As a trusted sounding board, you will allow the Mentee to open up and have less fear about sharing their ideas and potential mistakes.
- Be honest, apologize if needed.
- Be honest with your Mentee. If you cannot interact as often as they like, bring that up and find a solution. If they are not interacting enough, let them know. If you make a mistake, admit it and apologize.
- Make sure to end and finalize the mentoring.
- Always seek to end or complete the mentoring activity based upon your initial agreement or when you think you’ve done as much as possible. 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. Ending the mentoring does not mean you cannot start another formal session with that same person or continue to answer questions through PM or email through informal mentoring.
- We can all improve. We all make mistakes. Consider mistakes and lost opportunities you had during and after each interaction. Ask for feedback from the Mentee: “How did the mentoring experience go for you? Any ways I could improve?”
How you will follow up after mentoring is complete
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.