What does self mentoring mean to you? How are you mentoring yourself to success? One way is to learn and apply the 10 key skills needed for future jobs. Learning the 10 key skills will not be easy, and that’s why it’s important to take responsibility for our own professional development. You have to become a self-directed learner.
Introductory Thoughts on Mentoring Yourself to Success
The Invisible Mentor blog is about providing you, the business professional, with information to mentor yourself to success. After conducting research on the concept of the invisible mentor, I settled with the definition, “A unique leader you can learn from by observing her from a distance.”
Over four years later, it’s time for me to revisit that definition and expand it because you can also be mentored by the books you read, and the conversations that you have. With the passage of time, an invisible mentor is also a training tool, as well as a different way of thinking, which assist individuals to achieve professional and personal success through the systematic use of books, interviews, articles and other information products, in addition to peer support groups created for professional development.
The idea behind invisible mentoring, is that the individual will take the initiative and responsibility for her own professional development by using the resources and tools that she has access to, to mentor herself to success. Invisible mentor is self-directed learning.
Dr Marsha Carr, Self-Mentoring Specialist
A few years ago, I got connected with Dr. Marsha Carr, assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington because she came across my post, Self-Mentoring an Idea for the Twenty-first Century, where I quoted her work. Dr. Marsha Carr has conducted extensive research on self-mentoring:
Definition of Self Mentoring
“Self-mentoring™, by formal definition, refers to an individual, referred to as an achiever, willing to initiate and accept responsibility for self-development by devoting time to navigate within the culture of the environment to make the most of opportunities to strengthen the competencies needed to enhance job performance and career progression (Carr, 2011; Carr, 2012). Informally, Self-mentoring™ is a sustainable practice of building leaders, and is different for each individual as an individualized approach.
Self-mentoring is the act of accepting responsibility for personal and/or professional growth through the identification and development of individual skills, aligning internal and external resources to meet goals/expectations, and applying social and professional networking to further support goals. Self-mentors™ choose the path to reach each goal through collaborations, observations, one-on-one interactions, discussion groups, networking activities, community clusters, and other various identified measures through self-mentoring™.
Self-mentoring™ is a practice of leadership development that applies mentoring strategies; it is not a replacement for mentoring practice, but can complement such approaches (Carr, 2012).”
An invisible mentor and a self-mentor are two sides of the same coin. A self-mentor uses invisible mentors to mentor herself to success. Traditional mentors are great complements to invisible mentors and self-mentors.
But in the absence of traditional mentors, self-mentoring can work very well if the individual has specific mentoring objectives to meet, and works toward filling those mentoring needs with the resources that she has access to.
Final Thoughts on Mentoring Yourself to Success
Self-mentoring can include collaboration, and each self-mentor can work to accelerate each other’s professional development. In Dr. Carr’s definition of self-mentoring, networking activities are critical for success.
Have you ever used invisible mentoring or self-mentoring?