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Mentoring Connections Newsletter
February 2005

In this issue

Introduction

In our first edition of Mentoring Connections for 2005, a Citibank mentoree tells us what mentorees really think about mentoring and gain from it.  We have also brought together the current thinking and research experience on two increasingly popular forms of mentoring:  Group and Reverse mentoring.  

Our aim continues to be supporting the mentoring community with up to date information, links to useful websites, practical and best practice tips and books to read as well as mentoring conferences for us all to share what we learn and learn what others share.

Mentoring programs of all types continue to grow in the corporate world, education, the community and a range of special groups.  There are new players in the field, like the Australian Mentor Centre, promoting quality mentoring practices.

There is a simple reason for the continuing efforts to expand mentoring ­ well designed, well managed programs reliably deliver positive results.  They deliver in human terms, in self confidence, new learning, career progress and trusted support.  They deliver in organisational terms through motivation, retention, reduced sick leave taking, improved relationships including customers and application of ethical work values.

Is there a mentoring program in your workplace, community group or professional association?

Imogen Wareing
Principal
The Growth Connection Pty Ltd

Mentoring Connections Meeting ­ Sydney, NSW, Australia

The next meeting will feature Human Resources Manager Cameron Bott, presenting the Weir Warman mentoring experience.  Cameron will be accompanied by both a mentor and a mentoree from Weir Warmanıs current program and this promises to be an insightful discussion of mentoring and its place in the Australian context of a multinational manufacturing and minerals organisation.

When:     Wednesday 14 April, 2005
Time:      6.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Where:    The Growth Connection: Suite 2 / 105 Mowbray Road, Willoughby

These meetings are free of charge as a service to the mentoring community.  Please contact Imogen Wareing on +61 2 9787 2748 to book your place or email iwareing@growconnect.com.au

Hot Topics

Corporate Case Study: the mentoreeıs perspective (Citibank)
written by Citibank Management Associatesı Mentoring Program graduate Michael Danby

"When choosing between different offers made by different organisations, Citibankıs clear support of a mentor program was a serious point of differentiation over other organisations".

Citibankıs mentoring program has had a positive effect on the Management Associate (MA) experience, clearly aiding retention and long term career progression success.

The following is a summary of the feedback and recommendations from past MAıs that formed the basis of the Œ2004 Mentoring Connectionsı presentation.

Role of a mentor
The actual role played by mentor will vary. It is very much a function of the individuals involved. Our experiences showed that mentees viewed their relationship with mentors in different ways;

* Friend
* Confidant
* Advisor
* Point of influence

Tangible mentor selection points
Successful mentors were viewed as individuals who lead by example. More specifically mentors should be able to demonstrate;

*  18 months plus with the organisation- so mentee can leverage both network and experience.
*  More senior position than mentee.
*  A successful individual with high performance standards.
*  Enthusiasm to be a mentor- will allocate the time as required.
*  Someone motivated by the professional development of another.

Direct quotes on how having a mentor has improved the work life of the mentees
*  "The fact that Citibank supported a mentor program was a serious point of differentiation over other organisations".
*  "It is good to have someone there to ask both the serious and silly questions without consequence".
*  "Mentor support helps to break down a large and complex organisation into a more real and personable place to work".
*  "Widens you knowledge of the collective business".
*  "Exposure to different personal styles of management and leadership help you to work out your own way forward".

Advice for future mentees
*  As with any relationship, you only get out of it what you put into it.
*  At least initially, formally schedule your meetings, for example 1 hour once a month.
*  Try and keep the format informal, over coffee away from the work area.
*  Once you become clear of what you want out of the relationship, set joint expectations and review progress, i.e. establish some purpose and track performance.

Group Mentoring

As organisations become more familiar with the concept of mentoring, they have begun to explore new applications which can help deliver specific organisational outcomes.  Two such additions are group mentoring and reverse mentoring (which is examined in the following article).

Group mentoring share the philosophy of traditional mentoring, but its implementation is in some ways different ­ here, we briefly discuss a few of the practical implications of a group mentoring program.

Group mentoring may take a number of forms, but typically the structure is one mentor (or occasionally two-three) working with a small group of mentorees.  The mentor generally acts as a facilitator, guide and even individual mentor on occasions, while helping to maintain the momentum of the group.

The group may share specific outcomes or a work project, or may bring their own diverse requirements to each meeting.  In either case it is vital that the group initially shares expectations and develops a framework and objectives for the group as a whole to progress.  In an options paper developed for the Department of Health and Ageing, (1) Marie Heartfield and her colleagues recommended that all mentorees within a group share similar needs and that the mentor in such a group must be aware of helping all mentorees to participate equally.

Regular meetings are essential: for some groups, meeting monthly is appropriate.  Linda MacGreogor has explored the work of Beverley Kalye in this area and believes strongly in the value of structured two hour monthly meetings.  (2)  Valerie Clifford supports this, suggesting that credit should be given for all participants in terms of workload when they are attending regular meetings.  (3)

There is no doubt that regular, face-to-face mentoring  is considered by many to be ideal but the use of new technology within mentoring means that the benefits can be accessed by a wider group than is possible otherwise.  The new 2005 group mentoring program the  APESMA Professional Womenıs Network is starting in April (4) will have an initial meeting and then ongoing mentoring group meetings.  Those who cannot attend regular meetings are not excluded ­ they will be able to participate through on-line exchanges and forums.

Group mentoring is one way to address current realities such as a shortage of potential mentors and open the opportunity of mentoring to all who wish to be involved in mentoring, beyond target groups.  To create a successful group mentoring program, training and development requirements still need to be rigorous, include group processes and expectations must be clear.  To share  your thoughts and experiences on the emergence of group mentoring in a future edition, please email Imogen at iwareing@growconnect.com.au.

(1) "Developing a mentoring framework for general practice nurses" by Dr Marie Heartfield, Terri Gibson, Dr Colleen Chesterman and Lynette Tagg (February 2003)

(2) "Open door and group mentoring" by Linda MacGregor, Mentoring for Diversity Conference, Sydney (May 2001)

(3) "Group mentoring: An alternative way of working" by Valerie Clifford, Second National Conference on Women in Science, Technology and Engineering (May 2003)

(4) Please see "upcoming events" from around the world for more details

Reverse mentoring

The familiar notion of the mentor as a wise, more experienced person acting as a guide is turned on its head with the growth of reverse mentoring.  In this instance, the flow of knowledge is up, not down the corporate hierarchy. Jack Welch, CEO of General Electric is generally thought to be one of the pioneers of this branch of mentoring, which may focus on one specific area (in GEıs case, use of technology) or to cross the generational divide in organisations.

The concept is, of course, not new. Mentors in traditional relationships often mention that information and ideas are shared in both directions, with many especially valuing the insights and observations their mentorees share from their perspective.  However, reverse mentoring refines and formalizes the expectations of this special relationship. It can Œimprove decision making, reduce training costs and create and organisation which is more tightly knitı concludes Matt Starcevich, CEO of the US based Center for Coaching and Mentoring. (1)  It can also be useful for managing intergenerational issues at work, understanding younger consumers and generally as a source for new ideas. (2)

Three keys to successful mentoring that a current program coordinator (Jerry Wind, at the University of Pennsylvania) (2) suggest are:

* Train the mentor to be patient and keep their advice restricted to the relevant topic
* Ensure the mentor understands the importance of the executive (mentoreeıs) critical need for privacy and confidentiality
* Consider using external mentors for very senior executives if the privacy issue is paramount, and also to manage possible resentment at the junior levels.
* Reverse mentoring can be a useful, effective strategy that deals with a range of specific work-based issues.  With thoughtful introduction and monitoring it can bring powerful personal and organizational benefits.

(1)    "Learning in Reverse: Part 1 of 2" by Greengold, S. (23/9/03)  The Galt Global Review.
(2)    "Kids These Days" by Henricks, M. (May, 2002)  Entrepreneur Magazine.
Recommended Reading

Global Perspectives on Mentoring: Transforming Contexts, Communities and Cultures.  Edited by Frances K. Kochan and Joseph T. Pascarelli (2003, Information Age Publishing.)

This book contains 20 case studies and explorations of mentoring programs that illuminate diverse experiences from South Africa, Sweden, The UK, the Netherlands, China and Pakistan.  It is divided into five sections that focus on the role of mentoring in youth programs, equity and access experiences, professional cultures, learning communities and as a tool for personal and transformational growth.  The descriptions and conclusions drawn from this broad range of mentoring initiatives makes this a must read for any one who wishes to understand the impact of mentoring from an international perspective.

Sites to Visit

http://www.mentoring.org/   This is the website of the US National Mentoring Partnership. For more than a decade, MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership has been leading the effort to connect Americaıs young people with caring adult mentors. Mentoring programs can access cutting-edge products and services to help them grow their programs. Through the website and the National Mentoring Institute, solutions that are free or cost-effective and easy to access are offered: from online training and recruitment to e-mentoring standards and tool kits to counsel from experts.

http://www.mentorsforum.co.uk/  On this website you can explore different aspects of mentoring, all sharing a common theme -change, growth and learning. The site brings together information, case studies, resources, services and research on mentoring.  There is also a new web forum in which people can freely ask questions and get advice from mentors and mentorees from all around the world.  Visitors must register to access the website but registration is free.

http://www.worklifecollege.org/   College for Career Practitioners.  Study program at post-graduate level for those intending to provide career coaching and counseling services plus training options for experienced coaches and counsellors.  You can enroll anytime and complete your studies at your own pace regardless of where you live in the world.  Students will acquire thorough knowledge of the career decision-making process for all age groups, theories of career choice, characteristics of the world of work, client management techniques, discriminating use of instruments and the needs of special populations - employees, the unemployed, those in transition, third age clients.  All students complete Career Development foundations then select from four choices a study stream of ten further study modules.
Do you have a favourite mentoring website?  Let us know and we will review and include it in a future edition.

Upcoming Events Around the World

1. Promoting Professional Women:  Conference and Mentoring Program
Tuesday 5 April 2005-02-21
Sofitel Wentworth Hotel, Sydney, NSW

The APESMA Professional Womenıs Network is proud to offer professional women a unique opportunity to participate in a high-calibre conference and mentoring program to enhance their careers.  The program commences with a conference day at the Sofitel Wentworth Hotel in Sydney on Tuesday 5 April 2005.  Leading professional women such as Wendy McCarthy AO and Elizabeth Bryan AM, will share their insights into womenıs careers.  Mentoring expert Imogen Wareing will educate you about mentoring and how it can work for you and the 3 month group mentoring program that you can then experience.

The program will enable you to share insights and experiences and gain personally and professionally to power forward in your career.  Registration for this exceptional opportunity for professional women is closing soon.  Visit here for more information:

http://www.apesma.asn.au/women/conference/2005/index.asp

Register 3 or more participants together and save!

By registering 3 or more delegates at the same time from one organisation, we will honour the Early Bird Registration Fee for each delegate, saving over $200.

2. 18th Annual International Mentoring Association Conference
April 6-9, 2005
Marriott City Center, Oakland, California
www.mentoring-association.org
Tel: (269) 387-4174
Fax: (269) 387 4189
cedu_ima@wmich.edu

3. Friends for Youth Mentoring Conference
April 25, 2005
Oracle  Conference Centre, Redwood Shores, California
www.friendsforyouth.org
Tel: (310) 543-5312
elsy@mentoringinstitute.org

4. European Mentoring & Coaching Conference
December 1-2, 2005
Zurich, Switzerland
0114 225 5210
d.f.megginson@shu.ac.uk
Call for papers, proposals, cases, research studies (due March 18, 2005)


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