Mentoring: Increasing Our Knowledge Base
by Bernadette Johnson, CPT
Mentoring is not a new process, but it is definitely making a strong comeback, just as coaching. In todays fast pace world of a knowledge society, mentoring can play a huge role in nurturing the development of people through the sharing of knowledge and experience as well as continuous learning. There are many types of mentoring, such as educational, career, personal development and peer to peer as well as formal and informal mentoring. I’ve come to rely on this acronym to maximize the experience of mentoring:
Make a purpose
Making a purpose is the cornerstone to the mentoring relationship because both parties have an understanding of why they are in this relationship. This is an opportunity to define the type of assistance that is needed which keeps everyone on track.
Setting expectations go hand in hand with making a purpose. This step calibrates the expectations for both and optimizes the time spent together. The ground rules for the meetings (such as, candor, confidentiality, and openness) as well as the timeframe for the meetings can be set at this time.
One of the roles of the mentor is to inspire. The mentor’s experience provides the mentee with examples of success and the ability overcome obstacles.
Sharing experiences both successes and challenges. It’s been my experience that we learn just as much, if not more, from our challenges. The mentoring relationship provides an opportunity for sharing these kinds of experiences which are teachable moments, the “this is what I learned” experience.
This relationship provides an opportunity for the mentor and mentee to share their knowledge and experience and look for those golden nuggets that will benefit the mentee’s experience. This can come in models, insights, case studies, scenarios, and antidotes.
Relationship and roles
Securing a mentoring relationship is most effective when there is someone that has traveled the path you want to travel and they have the knowledge, experience and information that could be vital to your success. At the same time this relationship is a shared responsibility for learning.
Because of the nature of this relationship, the mentor shares from their past experiences and the mentee shares from their current experiences. Together there can be a powerful knowledge base for future experiences and building the confidence to manage what comes next.
Bernadette Johnson (CORE Consulting) is a catalyst for leaders who want to make a difference in their organizations through their own growth. Her experience in the areas of leadership development, performance improvement, coaching and intentional dialogues creates fertile ground for developing greatness in others.