I’ve just finished reading an article about a research project that investigated whether mentors learn by mentoring others. My first question to self was, “What did the authors mean by the mentors’ ‘learning’?” And what was the baseline to establish learning had occurred because it could be compared to the person’s current capabilities and interpersonal qualities?
The article identified that the mentors in the study had learned interpersonal and leadership skills plus how to build rapport and trust. I would strongly suggest that mentors in an organisation possess these skills and qualities before they take up the mentor role.
This highlights a topic close to my heart and my approach when working with organisations to design and implement their mentoring programmes – the importance of mentor selection and mentor preparation, which means being very clear about who the person is stepping into the mentor role and how you are going to support their ongoing development.
You need to have a robust system in place for your mentor selection and ongoing development, i.e., what is the acceptable entry level criteria of a mentor? What do you want them to aspire to be as a mentor?
And how you will support them in moving beyond novice, beyond ‘okay’, beyond effective, to being inspirational and exceptional?
There is so much evidence that the world is changing at an exceptional pace and businesses are having to dramatically step up to keep pace with it. Mentors are becoming – having always been – pivotal in making the difference between an organisation surviving or an organisation prospering and thriving.
If mentors make that much difference in your organisation – which they do – what are you doing to make sure you have the right people doing this essential job and what are you doing to continually nurture and develop them?
Check it out
My new Mentor Readiness Programme helps your people get ready to be mentors and helps you select the right people for this role.
Get in touch and I will send you the information pack and we can set up a time to talk it through.