A Mentor doubles up as a coach by providing skills that advance a mentees performance; while on the other hand, is a role model who psychologically supports the learner towards career development and socio-work balance.
Wanberg, Welsh, and Herlett in their research review ‘Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management’ noted that mentored personnel are committed and satisfied more than non-mentored ones.
These tips will assure a successful mentorship program.
At the onset, the two ought to set goals and create a vision statement that will be a basis for monitoring and evaluating the program’s success. Once this is completed, they should construct a road-map and identify milestones to follow through. Here, it is important to note the mentees’ potential challenges that may impact on the learning process, in order to be proactive from the start.
A sure way of motivating a mentee is to share career histories and review each other’s curriculum vitae. By examining and discussing these documents together, success and failure stories are shared while identifying how achievements are represented at different career path levels. This way a learner will have a mental picture of his journey.
As a trainer, being a coach means focusing on strengths and targeting at weaknesses. Strengths are skills and competencies that a learner has, and can be improved; while weaknesses which are viewed as potential opportunities can be enhanced and utilized productively.
Networking- If a mentee is to grow, then a mentor will offer networking opportunities as part of the guidance. Professional forums and exhibitions with subsequent debriefs, are rich exposures for tapping on a variety of experiences from experts. By sharing professional contacts, you offer the learner alternative sources of knowledge for consultations.
Role play and job shadowing have been proved to be effective learning methodologies. Dramatic play to challenging situations puts into practice learned skills. On the other hand, through shadowing the trainee is invited to meetings, thereby granting him a chance for practical experience. Again a postmortem brief would determine if any proficiency was attained or not.
Instantaneous oral and verbal reactions improve communication and can be used to motivate. It’s also a reflection of effective speaking and listening skills. Besides they serve as means of storing and sharing information on lessons learned and best practice. When they highlight both weaknesses and strengths, they are resourceful for informed decision making.
Consider volunteer engagement- through this a mentee will put into practice desired skills as well as participate in community service. While such avenues offer workouts for skill development, they are openings for building professional and social networks too.
Discuss interpersonal skills – At whichever facet of life, these skills shape how people relate to each other socially or in a formal set up. Excellent interpersonal skills build good leadership qualities and team spirit.
Reference other readings and review them together. By reading professional journals, books, etc., a protégé acquires more knowledge about his area of specialization.
Prepare a close out plan – At this point, the mentor can engage a neutral partner to carry out a final evaluation of the project’s goals by interviewing and skill testing the learner. From the report generated a determination is made whether the mentorship program succeeded or not.
Bottom-line, the relationship of a mentor and protégé is mutual and goes beyond formalities to a more personal interaction that calls for selflessness and patience on the one hand; resilience and perseverance on the other besides willingness to learn from each other.