What mentoring is and is not:
What is the meaning of Mentoring?
"Mentoring is a developmnetal partnership through which one person shares knowledge, skills, information, and perspective to foster the personal and professional growth of someone else, the power of mentoring is that it creates a one of a kind opportunity for collaboration, goal acheivement, and problem solving. The personalised nature of mentoring means you can decide to learn about the topics and issues of most relevance to you ."
A Mentor Mentee relationship will go through several phases; Building rapport, Setting direction and developing a mentoring action plan, Progression, Winding up.
The mentee should always be in control of the mentoring relationship.
As a nursery owner or manager you may have considered engaging a mentor but were unsure of what was involved and what to expect.
What mentoring is and is not
1 Mentoring is NOT coaching and is NOT counselling and is NOT training…but at times can incorporate elements of the above. Traditionally mentoring is a one to one holistic relationship focussed on helping individuals grow, mostly on a personal level that also helps with business issues. The mentor is usually; but is not always; someone senior in age to the mentee and is someone who is able to provide help in a specific area, on a personal or professional sphere.
The mentor might have a specific knowledge, or background or experience that is helpful to the mentee at a certain time. Regardless of whether the mentor is older than the mentee or not the mentor has often achieved a certain status or position or role or has gone through a certain experience the mentee wishes to know about. The mentor/mentee relationship can be long term relationship continuing over a few months or years or short-term perhaps 1 or 2 sessions there are occasions when the mentee gets everything he/she needs to know in a phone or skype call.
2 Mentoring can take you from GOOD to GREAT. Mentoring is at heart an empowering tool that enables individuals to tap into their potential and achieve their best. Even when the mentor provides knowledge based support, it is more about what you can do with that knowledge than the knowledge itself. It is about exploring, discovering and taking responsibility for the actions that follow, and ensuring that actions always follow from your mentoring conversations!
Mentoring is also about having the opportunity to ‘blue-sky’ in total confidence and safety. In a mentoring relationship mentees should feel free to ask any questions, think beyond limitations and boundaries and deploy all kinds of scenarios. It is often from these apparently ‘impossible’ discussions that very ‘possible’ ideas begin to emerge.
3 Mentoring comes in many shapes and forms. Traditionally Mentoring is a face to face and one to one relationship, however telephone and skype are all very easily used in mentoring. This flexibility works very well for example for busy managers and owners meaning the mentoring can take place in line with the needs of the business and is both time and cost effective. As well as one to one mentoring, facilitated peer- and group mentoring can work very well with groups who have a common interest or purpose, for example staff teams, or mangers from more than one nursery or business. The advantage in this case is that participants learn from each other as well as from the mentor and for those who find the one to one relationship slightly daunting, this can be an easier way to benefit from mentoring and begin to appreciate its value without feeling ‘under the spot light’.
Whichever way you look at it, mentoring is hugely beneficial to individuals and to teams. Whether your purpose is performance, engagement or empowerment, mentoring can support your aims!
Interested in developing a mentor mentee relationship?
Contact Maureen to shedule a convenient time to discuss