Being a Mozilla Rep Mentor – Training & SOP Updates

This post has been a long-time coming, as there are important changes to the Reps Mentorship program SOP and process as a result of RemoCamp Berlin.

A quick background!  I believe very, very much in the power of mentorship in general, and in Reps specifically I know that in mentorship lies the potential to unlock the possibilities of all Reps can achieve together if we value the opportunity of empowering each other.  That said, this role to-date, has been loosely implemented as more of a administrative role – and that’s about to change.

In Berlin we ran a carousel for Rep Mentors, where my station was labelled ‘Mentorship’.  I asked each rotation to speak to their best experiences of mentoring and being mentored through storytelling. I love storytelling in facilitation – not only as a way for people to share their experiences, but as an opportunity for story-teller and listener alike to build a collective vision for the future.

As people shared their experiences, we identified and documented themes.  I also asked everyone to share a non-positive/learning experience about the same, which in the end told us a lot about what people really valued in the mentorship experience .  Everyone was different, but core  attributes emerged:  communication, empowerment, listening, feedback and respect.

Based on the feedback, I have updated the Mozilla Mentor SOP , and added a Mentor Training SOP.  BOTH are ready for feedback, but if you’re not dedicated to reading every line in the wiki here are the important highlights.

Mozilla Reps Mentor SOP(s)

Update of the Role Description.

Mozilla Reps recognizes that our primary goals are best reached through the support, encouragement, and empowerment of community through mentorship. Mentoring is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, made possible through regular and supportive interaction.

We encourage mentors to be as open to learning from their mentees, as they are to teaching, for the benefit and growth of both individuals and the program as a whole.

Being a Mozilla Reps mentor also requires a familiarity with different tools and processes that the Council has put in place to better streamline the way Mozilla Reps can document their activities, request budgets for projects, order swag and interact with other Reps.

In the SOP, you’ll notice that the mentor roles has been broken-down into two specific categories ‘Mentorship’ and ‘Administration’.  Previously, all tasks were related to the administration-focused tasks, these changes reflect the feedback from Remo Camp on what helps make a good mentor – humanness.

Addition of an Orientation Call.  To facilitate some of the goals we had around communication empowerment, listening and respect – we’ve added an Orientation Call to the new Rep orientation process.  This occurs 2-4 weeks after a Rep has been accepted, and this new SOP includes recommendations for creating efficient feedback loops, and goal-setting.  The orientation call is very, very important in setting expectations for both sides.

We also decided to REMOVE the ‘no-brainer’ option in the interview process for Reps.  Previously, this was based on existing knowledge of someone’s ability to perform as a Rep, but without consideration that interview helps start the conversation about the mentor relationship which is new.  ALL applicants must be interviewed.

Finally, based on ALL the feedback at Remo Camp and ALL the things I could gather on mentorship I created an initial Mentor Training SOP.  We’ll be running through this for our next group of mentors, and continue to improve it based on their feedback  – with hope we can eventually have one or mentor-training videos.

So that’s it!  Although, trust me that a lot of work when into this at RemoCamp and beyond (special thanks to Ankit & Sara and all the Mozilla Rep Mentors who helped define this new direction!)  we welcome feedback, but most of help making this even better.  Happy Mentoring!