Recently there has been coverage in the media on Minute Mentoring, or speed mentoring, which is the brainchild of Dana Perino, ex-White House Press Secretary. Minute Mentoring is based on the concept of speed dating, and for those who may not know, according to Wikipedia, “Speed dating is a formalized matchmaking process or dating system whose purpose is to encourage people to meet a large number of new people. Its origins are credited to Rabbi Yaacov Deyo of Aish HaTorah, originally as a way to help Jewish singles meet and marry. Supporters argue that speed dating saves time.”
The aim of minute mentoring is to save time. Many of these female power brokers who participated in the minute mentoring event, do not have the time to participate in traditional mentoring relationships, but are able to carve out pockets of time to share their knowledge and wisdom. If you have never had the privilege of participating in traditional mentoring relationships, instead of feeling disheartened and sorry for yourself, be proactive and take your professional development into your own hands.
Since the face of mentoring is changing, gather together a group of your friends and colleagues and form a mentoring circle, a peer mentoring support network. The relationship is reciprocal in nature where members of the Circle work as a unit to support each other in achieving personal and professional success. As a group, identify accomplished individuals who have successfully done what you are trying to do in your careers. Think about what you would like to learn from them. Organize a minute mentoring event, and invite these mentors who you have chosen to attend.
In addition, you can incorporate the invisible mentor concept, coined by Karen L. Peterson, a Washington State University Professor in her 2000 paper, “Invisible Mentor: Communication Theory and Lilian Katz.” As defined by Peterson, “invisible mentors” are unique leaders you can learn from by observing them from a distance. Since 2000, we have progressed a long way, with advances in Internet and other online technologies. As a group, members of the mentoring circle can identify 10 people who they have always wanted to meet, and conduct extensive research on them. What books have been written by and about them? Which speeches and presentations have they given? What concepts and models did they develop? Who mentored and influenced them? Which books influenced them and why?
Each member should present to the group what they learned so that all may benefit from the newly acquired information.
The Merging of Mentoring Circles, Minute Mentoring and Invisible Mentoring
The mentoring circle combined with minute mentoring and invisible mentoring can form a dynamite hybrid mentoring program that can benefit mentees, especially those who have not had access to traditional mentors. With careful planning, mentees can reap the benefits that other mentees who are participating in traditional mentoring programs are accustomed to reaping.
What other concept can you adapt to your mentoring program? Everything old is new again, and you have to change with the times or you will be left behind to become obsolete.
Keep the conversation flowing.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia via Apture