The inner workings of PDPs at 180th

In her last series of articles, Clarice explained the four pillars of mentoring at 180th: the role of a mentor, the emphasis on holistic development, the importance of goal setting, and the idea of accountability.  But how does it actually work? Here, we share our annual mentoring cycle.   Looking to jumpstart mentoring in your own crew?  Check out our PDP templates below!

What is a PDP?

PDP is short for “Personal Development Planning”.  There is a multitude of PDP templates on the internet, but they all fundamentally include an individual’s aspirations, goals, and action plans for self-improvement.

I remember our early mentoring sessions were much like fireside chit chats: spontaneous, unstructured, always deep and inspiring.  At the end of the intense conversations, I would leave with a renewed sense of direction and a page of madly scribbled notes and goals – this was the beginning of our PDPs.

As our crew grew, there was a need to introduce some structure and consistency to the mentoring experience. We evolved templates for our PDPs, and they became the best tool to capture the content of our mentoring discussions.

Our templates were developed to suit the needs of our annual three-part mentoring cycle – we like them because they’re simple and adaptable.  The content of the PDPs change as the year progresses:

  • Year start PDPs (September): The mentee and mentor meet to discuss what the mentee would like to achieve this year, and identify opportunities in the crew to help them achieve their goals.  The mentee sets SMART goals and objectives to kick off the year.  Check out our Year Start PDP template
  • Mid-Year PDPs (January): The mentee and mentor meet to review the mentee’s progress.  They celebrate accomplishments, revise goals if needed, and discuss strategies. Check out our Mid-Year PDP template
  • Year End PDPs (June):The mentee and mentor meet again to review the mentee’s progress. The mentee is encouraged to evaluate what worked, what didn’t work, why it didn’t work, and to develop a gap plan to attain his/her goals before the end of the year. Check out our Year End PDP template.

Of course, mentoring is not limited to three scheduled sessions a year!  Mentors and mentees chat every few weeks.  During these touch bases, we catch up on what’s new in the mentee’s life, celebrate successes, and discuss strategies to overcome obstacles.  Maintaining contact with a mentee throughout the year ensures that the mentee is supported and is essential to building a stronger mentee-mentor relationship.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

This mentoring cycle is repeated year after year.  The PDP is a tremendously useful tool to document a mentee’s development.  I love browsing through my mentee’s past PDPs to see how much they have accomplished from year to year!

If you have any questions about our PDP process, ask away in the comments below!


One Response to “The inner workings of PDPs at 180th

  • Mostafa
    3 years ago

    Thanks Clarice for this interesting post! It is great to see that the crew has such a well-planned and rigorous mentoring process in place to ensure that youth can reach their full potential by acquiring management and leadership skill, back-up with guidance and motivation.

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