Six Ways to Effective 15-Minute Mentoring

By September 2, 2014Blog, Daily Declarations

Most of us have the desire to mentor or at least provide insight to younger executives, but we all struggle with finding enough time for our own personal and professional responsibilities.  A good example of what feels like a time-eater are those calls and/or meetings with young executives who weren’t prepared, didn’t want to really work, and/or just showed up with a really bad attitude.

One of my coaching clients with a heart to share her wisdom and experience with others had experienced enough of this behavior. It impacted her so much that she struggled with how to continue to honor her desire to serve with the commitments to her own life.

Engaging a System for Effective 15-Minute Calls

To help her achieve this goal, I shared the system that I have put in place that allows me to be more efficient in helping as many people as I can while also screening those who may be better served by someone else.

When I was younger, I spent almost five years trying to secure 15-minute informational interviews with entertainment executives.  And, in my professional career, I have conducted hundreds of these 15-minute talks. In fact, some of these interviews were so effective that they led to professional and personal relationships I still have today.  

Below are six (6) ways to ensure that these 15 minute calls are a productive use of time for the mentor and the mentee.


  • The first meeting should be via phone, not in person



  • Prepare a one-sheet with FAQs, key insights, informational websites and any directions to prepare in advance of the 15-minute call



  • Always confirm an exact day and time for the 15-minute call (never say “just call me”)



  • Confirm a day and time that is your least busiest



  • Have the mentee prepare 3-10 questions prior to the call



  • During the call, avoid multitasking and be fully present in those 15 minutes


Bonus Insight

For those individuals who show talent, hard work, and the potential for a successful career, be sure to give them the name and contact information of at least three other professionals they can contact to request a 15-minute call.

To provide even more value to those true “diamonds,” you can send an email to those other professionals to introduce them to these individuals.

Time is our most precious assetAt the same time, reaching out and helping others is our most powerful “give back.”  The above guidelines are a way that both of these can co-exist for you.  

Leave a comment below and share some of the other techniques you use to create time for mentoring.



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