Self-Mentoring – an Idea for the Twenty-First Century
Numerous survey results tout the benefits of having a mentor. However, many of us will never be a part of a traditional mentoring relationship. So what do you do? Simple, you mentor yourself.
Self-mentoring is not a new concept, and according to Dr. Marsha L. Carr from the University of North Carolina Wilmington:
“Self-mentoring occurs when the achiever (mentee) is willing to take the initiative while accepting responsibility for his/her own development by devoting time to navigate within the culture of his/her environment in order to make the most of opportunity to strengthen competencies needed to enhance job performance and career progression.”
That means that you are responsible for your own professional development.
Becoming a Self-Mentor
To mentor yourself, you have to know yourself, it’s a journey in self-awareness. You have to know your strengths, weaknesses, needs, values, limitations, passions, how you respond in various situations, and what’s really important to you. A good place to start is to conduct a Personal SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis, and do the mentoring needs assessment from the DIY Mentoring Program, Episode One.
After you have identified your needs, you have to go out there to identify ways to fill those needs. That’s not easy to do, and that’s why it requires commitment on your part. Self-mentoring is an important concept, and the Invisible Mentor is designed to help you mentor yourself, but it requires action on your part. You have to take the information and use it for your professional development.
Self-Mentoring on The Invisible Mentor Blog
To get the most from The Invisible Mentor Interviews, while you are reading them, answer the following questions:
- Are their similarities between the interviewee and yourself?
- In what ways can you use the information?
- In what ways would you respond differently from the interviewee?
- What are your five takeaways from the interview?
- After reading the interview, what is one concrete action you can take?
- What are five things you have learned that you can use in your job?
To get the most from The Invisible Mentor Profiles, while you are reading them, answer the following questions:
- Are their similarities between the person profiled and yourself?
- What are your five takeaways from the profile?
- When you think of the person profiled, what thoughts immediately come to mind?
- In what ways can you use the information in your work and life?
- Look at the process you use to get your job done, think of ways to improve the process and make it more efficient. Is there a way to eliminate a step or combine steps? Also, is there a way to do your work in a more cost-efficient manner?
- After reading the profile, what is one concrete action you can take?
To get the most from the SummaReview, after you have read it, answer the following questions:
- Is this a book you’d like to read for yourself? Why? Why not?
- What has made an impression on you?
- Were there any kernels of wisdom?
- Is there a framework that you can use in your life and work?
- What are five takeaways from the SummaReview?
- What is one action that you can take as a result of reading this SummaReview?
Self-Mentoring in Action
The most successful people have systems in place which helped them to become successful. Both Madam C J Walker and Mary Kay Ash – who we have profiled on The Invisible Mentor Profile in Wisdom Series – had systems in place in their businesses. What systems can you introduce to aid your success at work? In addition, the Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilbur Wright, who are credited with inventing the airplane, outlined their path to success in The Early History of the Airplane. In that book is a methodology for approaching projects. Laurel Touby in her interview shared with us how she started her membership site mediabistro, which she sold for over $20 million.
In addition to the content on The Invisible Mentor, there are many available resources available to aid you on your self-mentoring journey, but before you begin, you have to understand what your needs are so that you can meet them.
Saundra McGuire on Self-Mentoring
Sign-up for the Read the World Challenge, the extreme reading challenge. Participate in the Read the World Facebook Group!
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