June 13, 2019


Doug Lawrence







I am asked on numerous occasions to respond to questions regarding mentoring, mentoring process and how mentoring can bring value to individuals and/or organizations. Here are some of those questions and my responses.

Q: Have you ever mentored students on research projects remotely?

A: The short answer is yes.

The mentoring process that I use is premised on the definition of mentoring - a two way trusted relationship where both the mentor and mentee learn and grow on a personal and professional level.

Virtually mentoring does require a different skill set when it comes to mentoring but it can be just as effective if done correctly.

Q: What is an example of executive mentoring?

A: Executive mentoring typically can take place at senior levels within the organization. I work with Presidents, Vice Presidents, Directors, etc and the process that I use is much the same. The mentoring experience however is customized/tailored to the specific needs of the person requesting the mentoring.

There is a focus on their personal growth as well as professional growth. I spend a fair amount of time discussing the topic of communication and the importance of effectively communicating.

If you would like to learn more please reach out to me and we can explore this further.

Q: How important is reverse mentor ship in corporate life?

A: I prefer to not use the term reverse mentoring. The definition of reverse is to go backwards. I prefer to call it effective mentoring as it is a two way trusted relationship where the mentor and mentee are going to learn and grow on a personal and professional basis. Nothing reverse about that.

Effective mentoring is a strategic objective that all organizations need to embrace as part of their short and long term strategic plan. I have worked with organizations that have done just that and it has helped shape the culture in a positive way. It has assisted in the retaining of quality employees and reduced employee turnover. It has created an organization where people want to work because of the culture powered by effective mentoring.

Q: Is it possible to find an architect (mentor) online who will provide guidance?

A: If you do a search via Google you will generate 20M plus hits on the phrase “architect mentoring program”. Check out a few of these as some on the first page are architect associations that have a mentoring program. Some of those programs may have a virtual component to them. I am involved with an IT Association that does virtual mentoring and it works well.

Q: Architects told me to find a mentor to learn from him/her, so should I pay to a mentor or is it free?

A: If it is done via a mentor program through an association chances are that it would be free.

Some mentors will offer to mentor as their way of giving back to the profession.

Some mentors will charge for their services similar to what business coaches do.

Make sure you check out your proposed mentor as far as mentoring experience and training is concerned. They should be good at building trusted relationships, communicating effectively which would also include the ability to use storytelling to share lived experiences.

Ultimately the decision to pay for mentoring services vs getting it for free is your decision and will be guided by my comments above.

Q: How does leadership and management overlap?

A: Management: “the process of dealing with or controlling things or people.”

Leadership: “the action of leading a group of people or an organization.”

The overlap exists that both are dealing with people. How they actually deal with people is another thing. Organizations that are struggling are more than likely managing their people. Organizations that are flourishing are more than likely leading - guiding, motivating, etc.

Q: Why is it frowned upon (or is it?) to question the leader of an organization’s decisions?

A: It is all about communication and how you ask the questions regarding the leader’s decisions. If you can frame what you have to say in the form of a question and use the words “we and us” more often the results will be much better and different.

Pick and choose the place that you ask the questions as outright challenging someone and/or their decision in the presence of a number of people is not always the best path to take. Frame this in the context of a learning opportunity and ask questions accordingly.

Q: What does it mean if a smart, hardworking new hire is struggling?

A: There may be some external influences that are impacting the new hire from performing at the level that you expect.

This is a great place to have them work with a trained mentor. Having them work with an external mentor is recommended in order to maintain a level of confidentiality that is required. The trained mentor will explore the personal and professional challenges with the new hire.

The experiences that I have had with similar situations have turned out positive for the betterment of the new hire and the organization.

Q: What are the 5 best tips to reduce employee stress as a leader?

A: I would make sure that employees had the tools to manage stress and not allow it to manage them. Stress is manageable if you have the tools.

I would create a positive work environment with a culture of happiness and learning.

I would ensure that employees are engaged and empowered in the work place.

I would develop relationships with each employee to let them know that they are important and the organization will succeed if they succeed.

I would communicate regularly and would make sure that they understood how their role played a part in the organization achieving its goals and objectives.

Q: How can I grow as the leader of our group?

A: I would look for a mentor that can work with you on your journey as a leader.

A trained mentor will guide and support you and challenge you to think. Mentoring is a two way trusted relationship where the mentor and mentee learn and grow together on a personal and professional basis.

Choose your mentor wisely and embrace the power of effective mentoring.

Q: As a manager, how did you break up a verbal argument between coworkers?

A: This is a great place to use group mentoring techniques. I have done this with work groups that did not get along and with employees within the same work group and on an individual basis. One of the most important things is that you need to facilitate the dialogue and guide them where they need to go. I like to use effective communication techniques to get the conversation going and to provide them with those tools. You need to figure out the root cause for the behavior and then address that.

Q: What are some game-changing leadership capabilities?


  1. Ensuring that your employees have the tools that they need to be successful.
  1. Build trusting relationships with each of your employees - it will go a long way in creating an engaged and empowered work force.
  2. Communicate effectively - listen and hear, pause before speaking, listen for trigger words and deflections.
  3. Embrace the “gift of mentoring” and have those tools in your leadership tool kit.
  4. Take time to guide not tell.

Q: Why do you need a mentor in business?              

A: A mentor is someone that can walk beside you on your business journey. I have a number of mentors - each bringing something special to the mentoring relationship. My mentor(s) are there when I need to talk my way through challenges or perhaps a change in direction. My mentor(s) are there to guide me not tell me what to do.

I think of all the people that I am working with today that are either entrepreneurs or working in the corporate space and I would like to think that the question they would ask you is, “can you afford not to have a mentor”.


Doug Lawrence is an extraordinary mentor and mentor certification trainer with TalentC® and is the International Mentoring Community Director of Education.

Doug shows organizations how mentoring programs will influence a happy workforce culture (mentors), improve employee productivity (mentees), reducing costly employee high turnover (onboarding), improves the bottom line (organizations), which saves 150% to 200% of the annual salary of each departing employee. He provides one-on-one direct mentoring for individuals and groups, all backgrounds and industries locally and internationally.

Doug is an International Certified Mentor Practitioner (ICMP), an International Certified Mentor Facilitator (ICMF), and has obtained his Certificate of Achievement – Mentoring and his Certificate of Competence – Mentor from the International Mentoring Community (IMC).

Doug is recognized as a “Most viewed writer in the Business Mentoring and Mentors and Mentoring categories on the Quora website (

An international speaker and author of The Gift of Mentoring (2014), Doug’s second book is set to publish in late 2019.

Do you have a workplace crisis or issue to resolve?  Schedule a time to meet with Doug:





Book A


One Hour Meeting With Doug Lawrence!

To Discuss Opportunities To Implement Mentoring Or Your Mental Health
Whether You Are An Employee Or A Business Owner, You CANNOT Miss This Valuable Opportunity!
Book Your Meeting Now!