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The Growth Connection
Mentoring Connections Newsletter
In this issue
A one off mentoring event for the Mentoring Connections Network - leading U.S.A. Mentoring guru visits Australia!
Dr. Linda Phillips-Jones is one of the foremost mentoring experts in the United States. Her accessible, thoroughly researched and well designed resources are a great addition to any mentoring program and her writing on the subject is always useful and practical. The Growth Connection has had a longstanding relationship with Linda and her successful products and we are delighted to be able to schedule a Mentoring Connections meeting with Linda as our special guest speaker during her trip to Australia in September.
If you are interested in hearing what Linda has to say about mentoring, please reply to this email as soon as possible so that we can gauge the interest level and confirm the evening. She is in Sydney for the evenings of 26 and 27 September. Please indicate the best date for you.
This opportunity for Mentoring practitioners continues our learning services to the mentoring community.
Mentoring Connections Meeting Report
He outlined the history of the mentoring program, why mentoring was implemented and the results and learnings from the two successful programs so far. Ewan O'Leary and Jenny Simpson followed Cameron's insightful introduction with their stories as mentor and mentoree respectively.
Ewan manages a distance relationship with his mentoree which spans the continent - he is in Sydney and his mentoree is in WA. He spoke about the challenges of distance mentoring and emphasised the importance of staying with assigned meeting times, having the chance to meet face to face and being clear about expectations.
Jenny is the first female in the program and has found it to be enormously beneficial. Her mentor encouraged her in developing both workplace and learning skills and was willing to take the time to answer her questions and find added information to support her development.
Those who attended the network meeting enjoyed the entertaining presentations by the speakers, their warmth, candour and willingness to share their experiences. Thank you again to our speakers for your time.
** The Weir Warman case study will appear in the next "how to" mentoring publication from Professor David Clutterbuck and Dave Megginson, U.K. authors of "Mentoring Executives and Directors, "Everyone Needs a Mentor" and many more real life based mentoring books. ** Hot Topics
How to find a mentor
1. Decide what you want help with
2. Where should you search?
If it is within your organisation, are you choosing someone for their technical expertise, management skills or knowledge of the organisation? Do choose somebody out of your direct reporting line so that the relationship remains unbiased by day-to-day concerns. If age or gender are specific criteria for you in who you may wish to approach, use these to filter your options.
3. Role models and top performers
4. Select the mentor(s)
Ask other people's opinions to gain other insights before you approach them about mentoring you, and if you are considering more than one person prioritise your list.
5. Approach the selected mentor
Suggest an informal meeting at a convenient coffee shop or similar, outside of the workplace to start things off.
6. Have an agenda for the first meeting
Remember in your search that "mentoring does not necessarily come from just senior managers or executives, nor does one mentor have all the answers" (Kaye, 2001, p.56). Be open to finding a mentor that may be different to your initial expectations but who may be exactly what you need.
How do you best match mentors and mentorees?
The quick answer to this question is that mentors and mentorees are best matched when they choose each other. However, some support from the formal program structure is necessary to enable it to be an informed and appropriate choice.
Experience and research continues to emphasise the importance of individual choice is as many aspects of a formal program as possible. Part of this is the choice of whether to be a mentor or a mentoree within the program.
Voluntary participation in the program can be, and often is, accompanied by encouraging some individuals who may have specific required skills to be mentors or those who can especially benefit (such as members of disadvantaged groups) to be mentorees. This does not detract from the voluntary nature of their participation.
Having established empowerment and choice as a key feature of the mentor program, the sequence of activities will be something like this:-
Development of criteria to let people know
what sort of mentors are required
Open invitation across the organisation / Professional Association
(and externally if appropriate) for volunteer mentors
Call for mentorees and provide guidelines to assist their
definition of what they need a mentor for
Select mentors if too many volunteer
Biodata provided to Program Coordinator from
mentors and mentorees e.g. qualifications, summary of
work history, key skills required/offered, why they want to be in the program, personal interests
Joint mentors/mentorees training day and or get together (as well as separate mentor skills development day). This is not the only way to bring them together,
but combined with a social event at the end of the training
day is an effective vehicle for networking with each other face to face
Mentorees contact one or more potential mentors over
the following week or so and a meeting time is agreed
Mentorees nominate 3 potential mentors, Program Coordinators sorts
choices so all have a mentor they selected and no mentor is overloaded
Decision is made after first meeting on whether to
proceed with mentor relationship or not
Sites to Visit
An affiliate of the American Society for Curriculum and Development (ASCD), this organization promotes the mentoring and induction of new teachers by supporting mentors and mentoring programs in K-12 schools and in university teacher education programs. Provides many ideas and papers about mentoring teachers.
Second Australian Conference on Evidence Based Coaching - "From Practice to Theory - Cross Disciplinary Perspectives". 8-9 October in Sydney, NSW (Coaching Psychology Unit, University of Sydney)
§ Advance notice European Mentoring and Coaching Conference: December 1-2, 2005 in Zurich, Switzerland.
3. United States
§ Advance notice 19th Annual IMA's (International Mentoring Association) Mentoring Conference, 15-18 March, 2006 in Chicago, Illinois, USA
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