Maximizing your Mentor.

Posted: 30/08/2012 11:26:41 AM by WorkInCulture editor | with 1 comments

Mentoring is held in high regard today. It’s a method of knowledge transfer suited to the creative community.

WorkInCulture has set up formal mentoring programs, but you can set up mentoring relationships, whether formal or informal, yourself.

A mentor may be someone you admire and learn just from watching. But frequently you want more – someone to be in your corner, someone to help you brainstorm challenges, provide contacts to widen your network, help you to improve your understanding and skills, and just generally build your confidence.

Not every person you admire makes a successful mentor. Look for people who are knowledgeable, good communicators but also good listeners. People who won’t impose a solution on you but have the patience to help you work through a challenge. People who are discreet but who share credit and acknowledge others.

At WorkInCulture, we’ve seen that mentoring works well when the process and structure are clear. Usually, that means the mentoree has taken responsibility for the process. Research suggests that the more the mentoree puts into the relationship, the greater the committment from the mentor. A mentoring agreement will help clarify expectations and roles. Check our GetMentored booklet for models of agreements to use or adapt.

Use the mentor’s time wisely, be clear about goals, listen without getting defensive and do work in between meetings so you and the mentor can reflect on what you’ve learned when you are next together. Prepare yourself and your mentor for the relationship to end.

And remember, you won’t have just one mentor in your life. You may have many – different mentors for different topics and at different times.

But in case you get bogged down, we’ve put together some questions to ask of yourself and your mentor to see whether you’re on track or whether your mentoring relationship needs tweaking. We’ve posted them in our new Tips and Templates Section. Let us know if they’ve helped you to manage a mentoring relationship.

Susan Cohen
Program Director

susancohen@workinculture.ca



Comments
Ketam
You are absolutely crreoct! When you put your DESIRE to learn out to the Universe, a teacher will appear. The question IS, are they ready (coachable) ? A mentor doesn't have to be perfect they have to be duplicatable ! Did I spell that right? You are a very patient mentor with a servants heart. Thanks for sharing David.[] Reply:October 19th, 2010 at 11:33 amTwitter: Hi Chinna,Thanks for sharing your insight here, A mentor doesn’t have to be “perfect” they have to be duplicatable!. I have to chuckle because the mentor I am talking about in the video above wrote a book called, Its So Simple, I Just Ain't Easy , lol.Isn't that Ironic? My mentor, Bob, would constantly feed me simple concepts to ponder and send me on my way to think on them and take action. He was so duplicatable that sometimes its like looking in a mirror Take Care,David[]
17/10/2012 8:45:43 AM

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