TWO KINDS OF MENTORING CONVERSATIONS
Highly effective mentoring programs don't just assign mentors and then hope quality relationships, effective learning, and performance improvement will happen. The most effective programs create structures and strategies to ensure their desired results will occur.
The fundamental truth is that the most effective mentoring is a mutual learning situation. At the foundation of all effective mentoring is the core requirement that each individual is BEING MENTORED and at the same time is MENTORING others.
Mentors must be positioned to give their own experience and the wisdom that comes from such experience. It is the access to that wisdom and experience which accelerates protege learning and development. You know that. What you may not have considered is that...
Mentors need to be mentored and supported in their own learning too. Mentors don't have all the answers, especially not in today's fast paced, accountability driven, ever changing, performance and results-oriented environment!
Adjoining this text is what this concept looks like in graphic form. In that graphic, the P represents when I am a Protege, learning from my mentor in areas where I want to grow. The M is when I am a Mentor, sharing with others what I have learned to support their growth. Of course, every other mentoring relationship above and below the one being discussed repeats this pattern.
So if mentors need to be continual learners too, from whom will they learn?
Their PEERS - Other practicing and growing mentors
EXPERT Mentors - Someone we call the Mentor of Mentors, (MoM).
Therefore, there are two kinds of mentoring relationships in which we should all be involved, expert-to-less experienced, and peer-to-peer. Here are some examples of how this can look.