The Basics of Mentoring

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This page covers the basics on mentoring.

Basic Requirements:

  1. Mentors must be an AOp for a minimum of 4 months.
  2. Mentors must be active in the channel.  Active is defined as serving in channel as an AOp for a minimum of 12 hours per month.
  3. Mentors must be approved by the Mentoring Team lead.

How to Apply:

Becoming a mentor for #DALnetHelp is voluntary.  It is a position of respect and trust, where you give your time to help others become good helpers.  To apply just send an email or memo stating your interest to the Mentoring Team lead. Please read through these policies carefully first.  Be sure to include your email address so we can get back to you.

Mentor Responsibilities:

  1. A mentor is there to help, guide, encourage, counsel, protect, advise, motivate, and teach, but NEVER to solve, do for, judge, or boss around his or her mentee.  A mentor must set an example for his/her mentee.  Be careful and make sure your actions reflect the advice you are giving to your mentee.
  2. Give a seminar at least once every 6 months on a relevant topic (either a recycled one or one you make up).  Seminars will be for the benefit of all current staff.  Guest helpers will be allowed to observe, but the general policy will be that only helpers, DNH+Vs, and AOps or SOps will be voiced for questions and allowed to participate in role-playing.  All seminars must be approved and scheduled by the Training lead.
  3. Send a progress report to the dnh-mentors@ list after the first month of working with a new helper and every 3 months afterwards.
  4. Work with your mentee at least once a week in the channel, both demonstrating procedures and monitoring progress.
  5. Monitor the comments page regularly to get the comments from other staff members about your mentee.  Hopefully you can use the comments to assist your mentee to improve.  Encourage your mentee to work with other staff, reminding them that teamwork is important.
  6. When your mentee is up on a ballot, you should write a brief statement about the helper to the dnh-ops@ list.  This is to give a perspective on the helper from someone who has (hopefully) worked with him or her a great deal and knows how well the person can listen to suggestions, as well as being familiar with the person's helping and interpersonal skills.  Everyone will be notified when an election is to take place.  Hopefully we will be able to give you a couple of weeks notice so you will have time to write a statement.  Please do be forthright about your mentee's strengths and weaknesses.

How mentors and mentees are assigned:

  1. Only people who have been welcomed as Official Helpers are eligible to have an official mentor.
  2. Mentors will have ONLY one mentee.  Special cases will be considered by the mentoring lead, but in general you will not be allowed more than ONE mentee.
  3. Every helper must have a mentor.  This should be completed within 2 weeks of the helper joining the staff.
  4. We encourage mentors and helpers to talk to each other and agree if they want to work together.  If you would prefer that the team lead simply make an assignment, let him or her know through email or memo.  We will, of course, always check with both the mentor and the helper before making an assignment.
  5. It is the responsibility of the mentor to inform the Mentoring Team lead of any new helpers they are working with so they can be placed on the webpage.


  1. Team up with another mentor who has similar online times as you and your mentees.
  2. Plan role-playing sessions to work on things you have decided need to be improved.
  3. Be sure to make an effort to attend seminars offered in #DNH_Mentoring or #DNH_Training.
  4. Give your mentee encouragement!  A constant barrage of suggestions/comments/criticism isn't very pleasant.  Don't forget to mix some compliments in when your mentee is doing a good job.
  5. Ask for help!  If you are looking for outside opinions, or have learned something in the process yourself, use the mentors' mailing list (dnh-mentors@googlegroups.com).  We all can improve from suggestions, and that's what the list is there for.
  6. Check out the mentoring webpage regularly for policies, suggestions, and workshop/seminar information.

Mentoring Lead's Responsibilities:

  1. Leads will encourage AOps to serve as mentors and try to support their efforts.  We will welcome newly accepted mentors, give them information about their responsibilities, how to subscribe to the pertinent list, and inform them via the list about upcoming elections and seminars.
  2. The Mentoring Team will come up with role-playing seminars every 4 to 8 week that will contain relevant topics and situations.  This is to give the mentees some pseudo-real-time experience in developing helping skills and, for DNH+Vs, experience with channel management prior to actual temp-opping in #DALnetHelp.
  3. The team lead and all the SOps will strive to be responsive to your suggestions and concerns.  If you want to make a comment or suggestion to the Mentoring Team send an email or a memo an SOp or to the lead.

To ask a question, apply to become a mentor, make a comment, or tell the SOps what a great job we are doing, you know where to find us. 
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