Posted on August 08, 2011 by George Phipps, One of Thousands of Leadership Coaches on Noomii.
What is Mentorship?
What are the benefits of Mentorship?
How does the mentor/mentee relationship work?
How much time does it take?
Who should participate in mentorship?
How do go about finding a mentor?
Frequently asked questions
Want to know more about mentorship?
What is Mentorship?+
+Mentorship refers to a developmental relationship in which a more experienced person helps a less experienced person, referred to as a protégé, or, mentee, or (person) is mentored, develop in a specified capacity.
Goals of Mentorship include:++
1. Help foster a learning environment and create a spirit of well-being.
2. Support Personal development goals.
3. Provide knowledge transfer opportunities.
4. Facilitate networking opportunities.
5. Develop individual relationships between mentees and mentors where information and knowledge can be shared.
6. Provide leadership role models.
What are the benefits of mentorship?+
+Mentee Benefits – The mentor will provide the mentee with the following opportunities:
• Knowledge transfer and sharing
• Mentor acts as a sounding board
• Express fears or concerns in a confidential environment.
• Build relationships and network with other professionals
• Grow professionally and gain career advice
• Opportunities to improve communication
• Increase personal awareness
• Opportunity to remove personal development barriers
Mentor Benefits – Mentors will benefit in the following ways:
• They will gain personal satisfaction knowing they have helped someone else
• Professional development – assists in developing mentee skills
• Mentorship provides the opportunity for self reflection and renewal
• Mentorship assists in developing trusting relationships
• Provides opportunities for increased communication
• Provides an opportunity to model collaborative leadership
How does the mentor/mentee relationship work?+
+Mentor/mentees are encouraged to meet regularly (once per month). The frequency of meetings and communication methods should be agreed upon by those involved in the mentoring relationship. Venues for meetings should also be determined as well as suitable times and methods for moving or canceling meetings
For mentoring relationships to be successful, both parties need to move forward in a safe and trusting relationship. If at any time the relationship feels uncomfortable or the needs of either party are not being met the relationship should be terminated. Above all mentorship relationships should meet the needs of both the mentor and mentee.
Professional Development Plan
• Establish mentee learning plan
• Identify mentee objectives
• Set mentee goals
• Clarify Roles and Responsibilities
• Set meeting frequency and communication methods
Review of Professional Development Plan
Review measures of success
A typical mentor/mentee action plan:
How much time does it take?+
+Mentor/Mentees typically meet at least once a month for an hour. This is not set in stone – meetings can be more frequent. Meetings can be face-to-face, over the phone, via e-mail, via the internet, or a mixture of methods agreed on by the mentor and mentee. The frequency and communications method should be agreed on at the start of the mentor/mentee relationship.
Who should participate in mentorship?++
Anyone who is interested in personal development and personal growth – mentorship can provide both the mentor and mentee a valuable experience. Mentorship should not be entered into lightly. Please consider some of the following points before entering into a mentoring relationship
Considerations for a mentee
• Are you willing to dedicate the time required for mentorship?
• Are you willing to be accountable for your own development?
• Do you have the ability to self-manage work and developmental tasks?
• Are you willing to be challenged?
• Are you open to introspection?
Considerations for a Mentor
• Professional work experience
• Strong interpersonal skills
• Organizational knowledge
• Willingness to be responsible for someone else’s growth
• Exemplary supervisory skills
• Time to dedicate to mentorship.
How do I go about finding a mentor?+
+If your organization has a mentorship program they may have a list of mentors available or use their own matching process. If not and you are interested in finding a mentor you may consider the following:
• Identify someone you think may be a suitable mentor for you.
• Approach them and ask if they would be interested in being a mentor to you.
This kind of mentoring is known as informal mentoring i.e. entering into a mentoring relationship where no formal mentorship program currently exists.
Frequently asked questions+
Q: – Why would I want to be mentored?
A: – There are many benefits to having a mentor, including: developing new skills, enhancing existing skills, developing a professional network, accelerating learning, support during periods of change and assistance with developing competencies and career paths.
Q: – What if the mentoring relationship doesn’t meet my specific developmental needs?
A: – The goal of any mentoring relationship is to set goals with your mentor and discuss your specific developmental needs. If you feel you are inappropriately matched or the mentorship arrangement isn’t meeting your needs you should discuss this with your mentor and try to remedy the situation. If that doesn’t work it may be best to sever the mentorship relationship. Remember this is voluntary and the last thing anyone wants is to be wasting their time or have their time waster. Please be respectful of this. The overall intent is to assist you in your professional development.
Q: – How long do I need to have a mentor?
A: – Many mentorship relationships last for years. It is between you and your mentor to decide the terms of the relationship. The main aim is to provide value to your personal development.
Q: – What if I don’t feel the mentor/mentee relationship is working after a few meetings?
A: – You should feel comfortable to terminate the mentor/mentee relationship at any time. Mentorship relationships only provide value where there is trust, respect and goals are being set and achieved.
Q: – What if I am not in the same city/state as my mentor?
A: -Mentorship can happen via distance, mentor/mentees can communicate via telephone, video conferencing or email. A suitable method would have to be agreed on by the matched pair.
Q: – Can I have more than one mentor?
A: – Absolutely – some mentors may have different skill sets than others. If you choose to have more than one mentor, please ensure you have sufficient time to dedicate to this. Also let your mentor(s) know you are working with another mentor.
Q: How will I know if the mentoring relationship has been successful?
A: – At the onset it will be useful if you and your mentor agree on a developmental plan. This will consist of competencies and goals you want to work on. You can compare your goals to achievements throughout the period of the mentor/mentee relationship. It is always a good idea to review your goals with your mentor at each meeting.
Q: – Why would I want to be a mentor?
A: – There are many benefits to being a mentor. Some of the benefits that have been identified by mentors include self-development and satisfaction that comes from assisting others with their development, seeing people grow professionally, sharing expertise and experience and sense of contributing to others wellbeing.