If you heard about the mentorship for the first time, reading these texts could be a great start!
Mentorship implies a specific, interactive relationship that entails the exchange of knowledge and experiences between a mentor (a more experienced person) and a mentee (someone less experienced). By using this approach, the mentor supports the mentee in his/her personal and professional growth. Also, they work together on exploring and developing mentee’s skills, talents and abilities. Therefore, the main aim of mentorship is to create a space for thinking, self-reflection, personal and professional development. In this joint journey, the mentor is the one who listens, supports and follows.
Do you have a need to ask for an advice someone who you believe that could provide you with relevant knowledge and experience? Do you want to share the challenges you face with someone reliable, talk about available options or possibilities that may occur but that you have not even thought about? Are you interested in the life path of the people you admire – how did they reach their goals and overcome obstacles?
If your answer is YES, you are in the right place!
Or – do you want to share your knowledge and experience in order to support important initiatives and projects? Do you want to create a better society? Do you often think what would have happen if some advice had been given to you when you were younger? Would you like to have an insight into the minds of other generations and people with different interests than yours?
If YES, you are still in the right place!
The mentor is a coach, a guide, a facilitator and a trusted advisor on mentee’s personal and professional development journey. (S)he is someone willing to invest his/her time and expertise to direct the development of a mentee, without asking for anything in return. The mentor uses techniques of active listening and asking questions in order to provoke mentee’s new way of thinking and acting, and to provide support in challenging situations. It is not important if the mentor is younger or older than the mentee, from the same or different background, but (s)he should be chosen based on mentee’s needs, goals and challenges.
In practice, there are many expectations from the mentor. Some of them are:
-To establish and maintain a good rapport and trustful relationship with the mentee;
-Provide optimal instructions, suggestions, explanations, guidance and advice;
-Provide necessary and useful contacts for the mentee’s development;
-Provide stable support for mentee’s development in a specific period of time;
-Be conscious of the realistic options for mentee’s career development and provide guidance accordingly;
– Provide new perspectives on mentee’s questions and doubts;
-Analyse mentee’s skills and provide constructive feedback.
The mentor gets to know a person that (s)he probably would not meet otherwise, thus gaining a thorough insight into the attitudes and values of different generations. Mentoring relationship brings personal satisfaction through the contribution to the development of other people, and vice versa – the opportunity for self-improvement through the exchange of views and discussions with a mentee. Individuals who are entrusted with the role of being a mentor also strengthen their position in a professional and personal environment.
According to the dictionary, the mentee is a chosen student. (S)he is a person who has a need for mentor’s support, who wishes to improve his/her knowledge, develop on a personal level, learn something new, and receive concrete advice and guidance. The mentee is personally responsible for his/her own learning and growth, but has a support of a mentor on that path. Being a mentee requires openness to the new ways of working and communicating, willingness to explore oneself, readiness for challenges and changes…
The mentee gets the precious opportunity to gain a better insight into his/her own capabilities, knowledge, interests and possible choices. (S)he learns how to define the goals of his/her lifelong learning, improve his/her own capacities and expand his/her existing network of contacts.
It is often very difficult to think about the things that are the most important to us, and we are reluctant to devote time to the development of strategies for personal growth. Mentoring process makes us more productive in a long run because it teaches us how to communicate efficiently, to define our long term goals, to persevere in our attempts and plan successfully.
Mentoring process entails knowledge exchange and a change of perspective – often a person who is younger than us can provide inspiring food for thought.
Mentorship is comprised of two equal interlocutors: it is a two-way relationship. Both mentor and mentee give and receive, they learn and grow together.
Mentoring process has a clear structure. Each session is organized in accordance with clearly defined mentee’s goals. In addition to meetings in person, the mentoring relationship develops via Skype, e-mails and other means of communication.
Even though a mentor is the one who provides support, the whole relationship depends largely on a mentee who formulates his/her own goals in a defined time frame, asks important and relevant questions and chooses topics for the mentoring sessions.
Mentorship is not problem-oriented but it focuses on the process of communication and personal growth. Everybody needs a mentor, at every moment of their life.
Download the latest edition of the MENTORING GUIDE, published by “Creative Mentorship”, which includes a series of short texts and practical advice on the role of mentors and mentees, building a successful mentoring relationship, designing meetings and avoiding potential problems. It is intended not only for program participants, but for everyone who wants to enter the mentoring adventure! The manual is free to download and use, but whenever you publicly publish a part of the content, it is necessary to indicate where the content is downloaded. You can download the manual here!