NWA SCORE mentors utilize the successful SLATE Method

SLATENorthwest Arkansas SCORE’s ability to provide some of the state’s best small business mentoring relies both on the experience and knowledge from our volunteer mentors as well as the quality training we provide those mentors.

SCORE uses the SLATE Method for all mentoring relationships. This research-based method proves highly successful in thousands of business mentoring relationships every year. The acronym stands for:

  • Stop and suspend judgment
  • Listen and learn
  • Assess and analyze
  • Test ideas and teach with tools
  • Expectation setting and encouraging the dream.


Let’s take a closer look at the meaning of each concept.


Stop and suspend judgment

Our mentors first make sure they are giving the client their full attention without making preliminary judgments about the client’s ideas and abilities. This helps create an open communication channel so the SCORE mentor can best understand what the client needs.


Listen and learn

The listen and learn principle guides our mentors to listen to what the client says and learn what their needs are without jumping in with immediate solutions.


Assess and analyze

Part of listening is knowing what questions to ask in return. The assess and analyze principle guides mentors to determine the client’s specific needs by asking questions. This helps the mentor better understand how much the client understands the challenges and responsibilities behind owning a business.


Test ideas and teach with tools

The test ideas and teach with tools principle requires that our volunteer mentors challenge their client to try new ideas that will help them reach their ultimate business goals. We then use tools that help the client come to their own conclusion as to if their ideas will be successful.


Expectation setting and encouraging the dream

The final principle in the SLATE Method is to help the client manage expectations for their business and to encourage them to keep working towards their dreams.

Are you interested in helping small business owners succeed in Northwest Arkansas? We need volunteer mentors and workshop leaders immediately. Contact us today to discuss how you can make a difference in the small business community.