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Why don‘t we look for mentors?

Sonata Mentoring Consultant

Why don‘t we look for mentors?

Doubts are stopping you from getting a mentor.

I have asked this many times people around me. Well, I asked when it seemed like a mentor could be who would push these people to move forward.

 

What were the answers to my question?

 

Well, one of the more often ones is where to find this mentor? Not some random one, but the one who will help me.

Another question is – will this help?

 

What else?

–          Will this mentor know how to help me?

–          How will I find time for this if I’m already unable to do some things on time?

–      Will I be able to be open? Can I trust the mentor that they don’t break our agreement of confidentiality?

I could keep naming more examples, but in all of them, there are a few fears.

We fear looking weak or uneducated.

We fear having to do something we always tried putting to the side.

We fear that we will succeed!

 

Yes, indeed, we are afraid that we will succeed. And the reason why is because it will change our lives. One way or another, we will lose something.

 

But how is the mentor involved in this?

To find a mentor means to take responsibility.

It also means:

–          We need to name what we want and look for a way to get it.

–          We won’t be able to dream of how we would like to change something, have something, be different, and do nothing.

When you find a mentor, you need to do something not just dream and talk but also take action. That is what and stops many people. The understanding is that you need to crawl out of everyday life and try new things or go new ways and that sometimes these ways will not be easy.

Yes, it will be easier to travel with a mentor to the finish line. However, they can’t carry us to the finish line. We have to get there ourselves.

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.

Who was the first Mentor?

Mentoring Process 1

Who was the first Mentor?

Let’s look at a small piece of mentoring history

If you read some book or an article about Mentoring, I am sure you know that Mentoring originated from Homer’s Odyssey.

Mentor was a friend of Odysseus. When Odysseus left for the Trojan War, the Mentor was in charge of his son Telemachus. He cared about him, provided advice, was near Telemachus when he needed him.

So, the Mentoring process was therefore named after him.

Did Mentor from Odyssey was the first Mentor?

Yes and No.

The first Mentor was ATHENA – The goddess of knowledge, strategy, war, art, work, and a protector of science.

WHAT? ATHENA? But what about the Mentor?

When Athena visits Telemachus, she hides from other people around. So, she disguises herself in the form of Mentor:

„…So he spoke in prayer, and Athena drew near to him in the likeness of Mentor, both in form and invoice; and she spoke, and addressed him with winged words…“

„…Then Athena, daughter of Zeus, drew near them in the likeness of Mentor both in form and in voice…“

 

 

As Mentor, the goddess Athena encouraged Telemachus to stand up against his mother’s suitors and go abroad to find out what happened to his father.

She helps Telemachus see and understand not only what is happening around him but also inside him. She encourages him to develop the ability to evaluate and make wise decisions critically. Through her wisdom, she encouraged the development and growth of Telemach as an individual. Even though she advised Telemach what to do, she never told him to do anything.

Therefore, you can continue saying that the name mentoring and mentoring, in general, originated from Homer’s “Odyssey” without fear. However, remember that the first Mentor was always Athena.

 

I invite everyone interested in Mentoring to read the Homer “Odyssey” book again while focusing on the parts where Athena, Mentor, and Telemach are involved.

Enjoy reading!

The benefits of Mentoring

Accredited mentor

The benefits of Mentoring

What can the mentee provide to the Mentor?

 

One of the mentees’ responsibilities in the mentoring is to work on that both – he and the Mentor – will leave the mentoring with more knowledge than when they met each other.

Yes, yes. That is the responsibility of the mentee as well! Not only to take but also to give!

 

Here I wish to remind everyone of one point. In the world, there is more than one way of Mentoring. You can read an article about the American and European Mentoring ways on my blog, called” What is Mentoring? Part 2. MENTORING MODELS: AMERICAN AND EUROPEAN.”

In the European model, mutual benefit is heavily emphasized.

And it is not just about that mentoring is an honor, recognition. Or that mentors benefit from mentoring because they review their experience, analyze your situation, dive deep into specific nuances, etc. 

All this is useful. 

But this time, I talk about the fact that the mentoring relationship is intended for the conscious improvement of both.

Mentor’s part

Even if you are an experienced Mentor and a professional in your area, you are encouraged to consider what can this concrete mentoring give you? For example:

–  What can you learn from this specific mentee?

– Or maybe not from the mentee but from the process itself?

– Maybe you want to try a new way, and talking with your mentee is a great fit?

– Or maybe you constantly interrupt others? So the mentoring program would be an excellent way to learn how to listen and not interrupt others!

– Or maybe something else?

 

Benefits for the Mentor have been taken care of by the mentee

The mentee’s responsibility is to think about his learning, control the mentoring process, and always ask himself questions, how can he be helpful to the Mentor? What can he provide?

The mentee can:

– Share any information that they think could be useful for the Mentor.

– To think about networking possibilities and opportunities. It could be helpful for your Mentor to meet and learn about the people around you.

– Give your Mentor a chance to learn and improve. And it’s easy to do by giving constructive feedback on his mentoring activities and ways. To note to your Mentor what he did, said,  used, which was beneficial to you.

– To provide feedback in every meeting, at the end of every session, also at the end of mentoring.

Or even sometime after your Mentoring. Yes, yes, Exactly!

Many mentors will tell you that those messages and calls from their ex mentees cheer them up! It’s lovely to Mentor to hear about what the mentee did, achieve, what happened after your mentoring connection ended. I strongly encourage you not to forget about it!

– Properly complete the mentoring. Inform and finish your mentoring if your agreed-on time ended, or you feel like you don’t need the mentoring anymore. Either way, meet with your Mentor and celebrate what you both achieved.

– Provide reverse mentoring. Maybe your past experiences in a specific area are exactly what your mentor needs.

 – Etc.

Is the Mentor’s benefit of Mentoring is a responsibility of his mentee as well?

How to choose a Mentor? Part 2

Mentoring Process 1

How to choose a Mentor? Part 2

WHAT IS WORTH TO THINK ABOUT?

What do we have, in Mentoring program?

Our Mentoring program is well designed and managed:

 

  • We designed our mentoring programs according to the standards. They have all parts of the mentoring cycle.
  • Our mentoring programs are managed. We have a mentoring program manager who cares about it.
  • We understand that a good professional is not automatically will be a good mentor. We know, that a mentor needs certain competencies, not just to have experience in some field.

Can mentoring still, have a negative impact?

A blind spot

So, where can a blind spots be? The ones, that we didn’t see and didn’t think about?

 

One of them is  that when we select mentors we often don’t think about whether they are ambassadors of our organization.

We just focus on their professional experience and further, we do help them to develop their competencies as mentors.

Do they represent our organization, our values? Do they support the organization?

Do mentors believe in what the organization works for? Do they understand and support the purpose of organization?

Naturally, the mentor passes on to the mentee not only his excellent knowledge in the field but also his point of view about the organization.

What worth thinking about?

  • When we select the mentors for the program it’s worth thinking are they are ambassadors for our organization. Do they act according to the values of the organization?
  • Just then let’s evaluate their experience, competencies in the specific field.
  • And then his competencies as a mentor. If necessary, we can help them improve in this area.

Can you say that mentors are ambassadors for your organization? That it look important to you?

How did I ruin my first mentee?!

different way mentor mentee

How did I ruin my first mentee?!

Unsuccessful mentoring

The authorship of this phrase does not belong to me. One evening at a cozy mentoring club, a member of that club, who is an experienced mentor, promised to write an article. Having exactly this title. Only one word was different. The original name was supposed to be “How did I ruin my first newcomer?“.  Because in that organization, as in many others, only newcomers were mentored.  For a variety of reasons, that article remained unwritten. That’s a pity. Although I am still waiting for that article.

To be fair, it was worth mentioning that that article had to be humorous. Thought – fun tips on what better not to do when you become a mentor!

 

Well, can I ruin my mentee? Well, maybe not ruin him, but make his life more complicated you really can.  

Unsuccessful mentoring.

Mentoring relationships can also be harmful. For a mentor, mentee, or both. And then there is no benefit to the organization from mentoring.

This is confirmed by both the researchers and my own experience. As a manager, I had to deal with a difficult relationship between a new employee and a mentor.

When assigning a mentor, certain criteria are always followed. The aim is for them to fit each other as much as possible, not only as professionals, but also as personalities. Well, as far as possible.

However, in my practice (as a program manager who formed a mentoring pair according to certain criteria), it has happened that the mentee avoided contact with his mentor whenever he could. Not because the mentor was unprofessional or unwilling to help. No. Just the personalities were extremely different. Attitudes were extremely different. And as a result, in this kind of situation, we no longer think about the benefits that mentoring can bring us.

How to behave in such a situation?

As in all other difficult situations. We need to talk first.

If this does not resolve the situation, then it is recommended that such a relationship be terminated. There is nothing wrong with that.

This is not to say that either of the two is unprofessional or has done something wrong. They just didn’t fit each other.   

After all, in life it happens that we meet people who are both great and benevolent and lovely, well, but for some reason we don’t go out to communicate with them and that’s all. Sometimes you meet an amazing expert in your field, but the way he communicates is not right for you. The same thing happens in mentoring.

Each case is individual.

In the case I mentioned earlier, mentoring, although difficult because of the relationship, continued at the request of the mentee. He did not want his mentoring to be stopped because he thought it would be more difficult for him later to communicate with his mentor who is his colleague as well. Mentee refused to speak openly with the mentor for the same reason. He just wanted to stay in it all as much as agreed and that’s all.

However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t talk to the mentor myself. We talked more than once about how he sees the situation. We discussed the reasons why he could behave differently. What he should learn when planning another mentoring himself?

 Well, I was lucky because the mentor was the one who was able to accept criticism, acknowledge certain traits of his personality, and had enough of a desire to change something in it.

Feedback to the mentor is always important.  It requires only to consider how and when to present.

What if I, mentee, chose a mentor myself?

In the case I described, I was this third person in the mentoring process who appointed a mentor and who monitored the process. Because it all happened in the organization.

But what should I do if I chose a mentor myself?

I asked him to mentor me and after a few meetings I realized that something was completely wrong.

Or vice versa? I agreed to be a mentor, but now I regret it.

Or mentee’s and my expectations are completely different from what they seemed at first.

 Or maybe I’m annoyed by the mentee’s behavior?

What do I do?

You will have to talk.  

The talking won’t be easy. The situation is uncomfortable. But it’s necessary to do.

To make it easier, it is recommended to prepare well for it. As with any difficult conversation.  

Did you find yourself in a situation where you had to stop mentoring or sit down and talk with your mentee or mentor? What is your experience in that?  

Send your thoughts in these two ways.

HOW TO CHOOSE A MENTOR? Part I

Accredited mentor

HOW TO CHOOSE A MENTOR? Part I

MENTOR ACCREDITATION

 

When I went to my friend’s website, I suddenly noticed a post about the similarities and differences between a mentor and a coach.

 I even stopped after reading one of those differences. It has been written that coaches are accredited and mentors are not… NOT TRUE!

Paradoxically, it was at that time that I was preparing the documents for my accreditation as a Mentor…. So I got annoyed.

 

What organization cares about accreditation of mentors?

My dear ones, for your information – mentors, as well as coaching specialists are accredited. This is taken care of by the European Coaching and Mentoring Council (EMCC).

How to become an accredited mentor?

To become an accredited mentor, you will need to provide evidence that your mentoring practice meets certain professional standards. They reflect both the competencies of the mentor and the methods used, the constant reflection of his activities and participation in supervision, professional development, i.e. participation in trainings, existing experience, work done in the field of mentoring, the mentor’s contribution to the professional growth of the mentoring community, etc.

EIA (European Individual Accreditation) confirms the qualification of a mentor. There are four different levels of accreditation.

How to choose a Mentor?

I notice trends that it is now becoming fashionable to be a mentor. It is one of the marketing tools. I just add the suffix “Mentor” to the names of my other activities and it’s like I’m rising to a higher level, because I’m keeping pace with fashion.

If this will help spread the contagion of mentoring and the understanding that mentoring is extremely beneficial to both organizations and each of us, it will be great.

 On the other hand, it is crucial that we choose where it is just a nice note, and where the mentor perceives and strives to meet the standards set for mentoring activities.

So let’s know that mentors are accredited and by choosing an accredited mentor we can expect a professional in their field. And then, probably, we will be able to not only rejoice that we have mentoring in the organization or that I have a mentor, but also to get the results of mentoring.

Good luck discovering the benefits of mentoring and choosing a mentor.

Latter I will write other tips that will help you to choose a mentor and to benefit from mentoring!

Did you know that exist accreditation of mentors?

Are you interested in?