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Articles     by The The Growth Connection
© Copyright The Growth Connection Pty. Ltd. 1999-2012

 

How do you best match mentors and mentorees?
by Imogen Wareing

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 in 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:

Clear program objectives

Development of criteria to let people know
what sort of mentors are required

Open invitation across the organisation (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 (a rare requirement!)

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

All Biodata provided to all participants

Joint mentors/mentorees training day (as well as a 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.

Mentorees contact one or more potential mentors over the
following week or so and a meeting time is agreed.

Decision is made after first meeting on whether to
proceed with mentor relationship or not.

Imogen Wareing is the Director of The Growth Connection.


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