Articles on: For Mentors

As a mentor, how can I lead a Circle?

What is a circle?

Plato’s community has expressed lots of interest in group mentorship — where they learn from a senior leader like yourself while also connecting with their peers.
A "Circle” is a group of people who meet on Zoom, typically for 2 meetings, to discuss a leadership topic (it’ll be the same group of people in the meetings).
Depending on the topic you choose, the group is either engineering managers, individual contributors (engineers), or product managers.

Why lead a circle?

It’s a great way to scale your impact by helping 5 to 15 people at a time (versus a traditional 1-on-1 mentorship situation)
Lots of mentors have said it’s been a nice opportunity to organize their thoughts on a topic (some have created blog articles & talks from the content they originally made for a circle).
This is a chance to create a mini-community where you can expand your network.
One testimonial from a recent circle leader:

“Running a Plato circle is an amazing way to share and fine-tune your perspective on leadership topics with other great managers around the globe.” —VP of Engineering at Mews, Marian Kamenistak

What is the format?

Most circles run for 2 sessions and each session is 45 minutes.
In each session, we recommend you (as the Circle Leader) present a few slides for 5 to 10 minutes to share your perspective on the topic. The remainder of the time can be used for a group discussion that you facilitate.
For both sessions, you’ll meet with the same group (of 5 of 15 people).

What’s the time commitment?

Typically, a Circle Leader will spend a total of 45 to 60 min creating slides + 2 sessions that last 45 min per session.

What are some suggested topics?

Here’s an example of what a Circle webpage looks like, and here are example topics below (full list of suggested topics are here):
For engineering managers: “How to scale your team without losing velocity” & “Managing up”
For engineers: “Deciding between technical leadership track vs people management”
For product managers: “Building a great relationship with Engineering” or “How to improve your product launches”

Who finds the attendees?

Plato is happy to do the heavy lifting of finding attendees, but we’d appreciate it if you could share the URL that Mustafa from Plato sends to you (we suggest sharing on LinkedIn and/or Twitter).

What are next steps?

Contact Mustafa ( to set up your circle, and feel free to ask him any questions you have.
He’ll ask you for a recurring day of the week and time when you’re available 2 sessions (typically the sessions happen during back-to-back weeks). For example, you could say Tuesdays at 9 am Pacific are good for you.
Let him know if you have a specific topic in mind, otherwise he’s happy to send you a list of topics to choose from.

Need more help? You can contact us:
Via Crisp chat on our webpage
Via Slack on the #support channel
Via email to

Updated on: 02/11/2021

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