Mentor Yourself: DIY Mentoring Program, Part Two
This is a series of posts on how to create your own mentoring program. In the first installment, we looked at how to determine your mentoring needs, and in this episode we will take a look at a variety of mentoring models. To create your personalized mentoring program, you have to understand your needs and you also need to know what your options are. While you are learning about the various mentoring models, make note of the ones that would work in your situation.
Traditional Mentoring: The traditional mentoring model focuses on a “one-to-one relationship between an experienced person (a mentor) and a less experienced person (a protégé) that provides a variety of developmental functions” Mullen (1998). In this type of mentoring relationship, the relationship is a hierarchical one, and there is usually an imbalance of power, where the mentor possesses the skills and resources, sets the agenda, time and place to meet, and the frequency of the meetings. Despite these drawbacks, many studies have reported on the positive impact of having traditional mentors.
Co-Mentoring: Co-mentoring relationships were created to address the weaknesses and limitations of traditional mentoring relationships. While embarking on graduate studies, Gail M. McGuire and Jo Reger documented their co-mentoring relationship. At the time, both students had traditional mentors, but found gaps in their mentoring relationships with their traditional mentors that they needed to fill. In their paper, “Feminist Co-Mentoring: A Model for Academic Professional Development,” they “address the limitations of traditional mentoring, in particular, its hierarchical structure and limitations and its availability” McGuire and Reger (2003). Co-mentoring relationships are reciprocal and mutual in nature because each co-mentor plays dual roles as both teacher and learner. This type of mentoring relationship is less formal than traditional mentoring relationships. Most times this involves two participants, usually at the same level.
Mentoring Circles: In 1993, The Mentoring Company™ developed Mentoring Circles, a group learning model in response to what they believed was the limited success of one-to-one traditional mentoring. The organization tested mentoring circles using both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and found them quite effective. There are two main types of mentoring circles with variations of each:
- Single Leader – Mentoring Circle: A single leader provides mentoring to a group of people. This is a one –to-many mentoring relationship and a variation of a traditional mentoring relationship, except that in this instance, you have one senior level professional mentoring many mentees who are at a lower level in their career.
- Mixed Level – Mentoring Circle: Mixed group of mentors and mentees who take turn leading the group. In this mentoring circle model you have co-mentors mentoring mentees and they take turns leading the group. You also have the variation where mentees also get the opportunity to lead circle meetings.
Peer-Mentoring: Members of the group provide knowledge, guidance, support and mentoring to each other. The members of the peer-mentoring group are often equals and the relationship is reciprocal in nature. Members of the group monitor and help each other achieve personal and professional success. An example of peer-mentoring is a mastermind group. A peer-mentoring group can be formed around an industry, job function, an issue, whatever, the possibilities are endless.
Personal Board of Mentors (Directors): Many people refer to this type of mentoring as a Personal Board of Directors. The same way that organizations have their Board of Directors is the same way that each of us should have our personal board, and in this case, we are the organization and we get to decide who is on our Personal Board of Mentors. There are five to seven people that you can quickly call on for advice when you have question. Members of your Board of Personal Mentors should have varied backgrounds.
Speed Mentoring: Speed mentoring is a very new concept which evolved from speed dating. Speed mentoring is short-term business mentoring, which focuses on quick-hit information gathering and time-efficient networking. Mentors and mentees are at one venue, and it is a structured way for mentees (participants) to get specific mentoring in a short time. For seven to 10 minutes, each participant gets to talk to a high profile person. Participants keep moving from one high profile person to the next.
Invisible Mentoring: But mentors can be invisible. That means that the mentor does not know that they are mentoring us. These invisible mentors are our role models. We choose them because we want to study their behaviours. We want to learn from them so we can possibly mimic their actions. Often they have done something that we would like to do, or are trying to do but with some difficulty. Confucius emulated the good qualities that he observed in others, and checked himself for their bad qualities. In some of The Invisible Mentor interviews I have conducted, you have read time and time again interviewees say that they have been mentored by the books they read. People, interviews, books and so on can also be invisible mentors.
In the next episode we will pull it together.
Get Started Here – I want to help you get started on your learning journey. Read The Invisible Mentor 2015 Reading Challenge, then Join the Facebook Group for the Reading Challenge today, connecting the ideas from the books you read!
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