Mentoring Circles

Application deadline for the Spring 2017 session is March 1st

Central Exchange
is a membership organization that provides a venue, programming, and access to resources to enable its members to achieve their full personal and professional potential, to make relevant connections, and transform our community.

CX Mentoring programs will focus on deepening these relevant connections while furthering potential for both the mentors and the mentees.

Program Description:

Our mentoring committee will assign participants to small mentoring circles (8 to 10 participants), seeking to create diverse groups for robust discussion and viewpoints. The circles let the participants share ideas and encourage each other to stretch themselves personally and professionally, while working together to build a professional network of peers.

Each circle will be facilitated by an executive leader whose role is to lead the initial meeting discussion and facilitate conversations to allow the circle members stretch and challenge their thinking and professional development.  Members will be assigned to the circles using answers to a questionnaire, which will be used to obtain information on common development areas, goals, and meeting location and time preferences. Members will be placed into circles with consideration for diverse industry participation (i.e., attempt to not have multiple bankers or lawyers in one circle).

How are the circles supported?

While leaders will guide the discussion and development of the circle members, the circles are intended to be largely self-directed. The mentoring committee will work with each circle leader to see that meetings are productive and valuable.  

How long with the circle be maintained?

Each circle is expected to meet monthly and for at least 6 months. Circles may continue to meet at their discretion.

What are the participant expectations?

We encourage the leaders and members to openly discuss their goals and objectives for the mentoring circle, but would like to recommend some ground rules:
Mentor Leader: Circle Member:
Start/End on time Attend the meetings and participate
Create safe space for discussion Keep discussions confidential
Facilitate meeting logistics Be open, honest and candid
Be willing to lead discussions  

At the midpoint during the program, each circle should provide a list of topics and conversations that inspired their circle to the committee members to share with other circles. The mentors and circle members will also be asked to participate in a short survey at the end of the six months.

Qualities of Mentors

Successful mentors display many of these qualities:

·         Genuine interest in the professional development of others

·         Excellent coaching and feedback skills

·         Excellent communication skills and willingness to listen and help a mentee look at options and alternatives to address development needs

·         A good understanding of the CX culture and willingness to share their perspective

·         Able to commit to the program and the time required for the mentoring relationship

·         Has experience that matches well with the mentee’s needs

·         Member of CX in good standing


Essential Criteria for Successful Mentees:

Individuals interested in engaging a mentor need to possess these characteristics:

·         Demonstrates an interest in developing their professional skills and expanding their network

·         Demonstrates an interest in pursuing career development

·         Strong initiative and follow-through

·         Receptive to constructive feedback

·         Member of CX in good standing

Central Exchange Downtown
1020 Central St. Suite 100
Kansas City, MO 64105
(816) 471-7560 Downtown

Central Exchange South
6201 College Blvd
Leawood, KS 66211