Everwise mentor Olivia Teich, (former VP of Product Management at Jive) asks her protégés to create objectives and key results, commonly referred to as OKRs, to help chart a course for their relationship. According to Olivia, OKRs are a “popular business tool for planning, aligning teams, and measuring effectiveness.”
Originally pioneered by Intel, OKRs are now used by fast-moving companies like Google and LinkedIn to align their organization around strategic goals and to measure progress.
Olivia explains that, “they’re just as valuable for driving personal growth with a mentor, coach, or team member and work well for hard-to-measure goals like increasing confidence or being a more effective leader.”
Here are her 5 steps for using OKRs with her protégé:
- Read – First, she ask her protégé learn about OKRs.
- Write – Her protégé drafts his/her own OKRs for personal and professional growth. Objectives are often around strengthening softer skills like leadership and executive presence.
- Refine – At their next meeting, she and her protégé revise the OKRs together. The discussion and iterations help get to the root of existing challenges and identify the highest-impact objectives. Although time consuming, this upfront work helps her protégé think more strategically about the relationship and ensures her and her protégé are aligned.
- Reference – Olivia looks back at the OKRs periodically during the relationship and uses them as a benchmark against which to measure progress.
- Revise – Together, Olivia and her protégé alter OKRs to reflect shifting needs and identify important work still to do.
Here are some example protégé OKRs:
Objective #1: Become a compelling public speaker
Record myself practicing my next presentation. Watch the tape and note two specific ways I can improve.
Watch videos of my favorite speakers and make a list of why they are compelling.
Objective #2: Optimize my relationship with my mentor
Send out a draft agenda for our meetings at least three days in advance.
- Share with my mentor three ways I implemented their advice and how it has impacted my job.
- End each mentoring session with a quick feedback session, during which both my mentor and I share one positive and one suggestion for improving our next meeting.