THE BEGINNING OF
EVERYTHING YOU'VE EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT MENTORING...
I am super excited to start a series with you this week all about MENTORING. As far as relationships go, to me this is a crucial one not only to have in your life but also to make sure that it is a positive and healthy one.
I have had the immense honor of mentoring people both personally and professionally ever since I was a teenager (so, for a really long time….) and have had wonderful experiences being mentored along the way by some incredible people. Every single one of these experiences and relationships have shaped who I am today, whether I was the mentor or the mentee.
Over the course of this week, we are going to take a deep dive together into mentoring (both personal and professional mentoring for career) and talk about aspects of this special relationship such as:
WHAT IS MENTORING?
Mentoring is a one-to-one relationship between an experienced and wise teacher and leader (Mentor) who shares their knowledge, skills, and experience with a less experienced person (Mentee) to assist in their growth both professionally and personally.
Many people only talk about mentorship in the “career” sense, but I see it as being a multi-dimensional relationship. I believe that for lasting growth to be possible, you must guide and be guided through more than just your career, but also growing as a person in general, and this doesn’t always have to be the same person. You can have more than one mentor at any given time, but I do highly suggest not only that you be selective about whom to have as a mentor but also the number of mentors you partner with at the same time. For example, it would be appropriate to have mentors for your career and spiritual growth at the same time, but not multiple mentors for the same area of focus at the same time. What is great is if you career mentor can also mentor you in other areas of growth in your life simultaneously. Vice versa, if you are the mentor, you also want to be careful and selective about how many mentees you have during the same time period in order to give them all what they need.
Because these relationships are not one size fits all, I will try to cover as many ways as possible that these relationships can look as we deep dive into it this week.
INTENTIONAL PLANNING AND INSIGHT
Planning and insight are critical components to this dynamic relationship. It is imperative that, in the beginning, you intentionally get to know each other well and begin to build trust together. Through great communication and sharing with authentic hearts, you will be able to build this trust quickly and move forward into positive growth.
Mentoring is about long-range career and/ or life planning or strategic business or life challenges. The mentor provides support and advice that enables the mentee to forge ahead with their ambition. In the mentoring relationship, the mentee is the one responsible for actively managing the two-way process of exploration and discussion, making the most of the highly experienced and wise professional or teacher at their disposal.
Together, the mentoring partners need to agree on…
· The duration of the mentoring period
· The contact plan- regular meetings, phone, email contact
· Frequency of contact
· Length of meetings
· Locations of meetings
· Content of meetings
· Expectations of each other
THE PLAN FOR GROWTH
Goal setting is an integral aspect of the mentoring relationship. The mentee should talk openly about their vision for their future, aspirations, where they are now and where they want to go. With all of this in mind, the mentor will help the mentee develop a plan, whether about their career or life or both, with goals, targets and time frames in mind. During this process, the mentee will reflect on their experiences, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and determine how mentoring can help them progress in these areas. This may involve building new skills and confidence, new ways of thinking or working, and wider networking that could open the doors to further:
· Personal/ spiritual development
· Innovation/ dream casting
· Career change/ life stage change
· Connections/ relationships
· Other areas of growth
At the end of the mentoring process, the mentee should feel strengthened and empowered by the experience, be able to see things with greater clarity, have a defined career or personal path, and be able to continue independently in a positive and healthy direction.
Whether you are a mentor or a mentee (or hopefully both!), I hope that you find this series to be helpful and I would love to hear some of your experiences with this type of relationship.
Tomorrow we’ll be exploring how to find your perfect mentor. In the meantime, take some time today to think, meditate, and pray about what this type of relationship could look like for you right now in the current season you are walking in. Do you already have a mentor in mind? What about a mentee? How would it look like for you right now to create enough margin or space in your life for this type of special relationship? Let’s talk more about it in the comments below…