Notes from A Diamond in the Rough – Mentoring podcast
Listen to the audio version
“Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it may be a diamond in the rough.”
Mary McLeod Bethune
Qualities of a good protégé:
*genuine interest in professional and personal growth
*developing a sense of self; personal vision
*open to and receptive to feedback, coaching
*commitment to learning
*willingness to take risks
*desire for self-fulfillment
Society for Human Resources Management, David Hutchins
You don’t have to be perfect, to be a mentor.
Big Brothers, Big Sisters
A consensus is emerging that sees it not as an all-or-nothing dichotomy, but as a continuum of developmental alliances, ranging from the very intense to the more superficial.
Old and New Rules of Mentoring
Old Rule: Mentors and protégés should have a lot in common.
New Rule: The best matches are mismatches.
Old Rule: Look for your mentor higher-up on the food chain.
New Rule: A good mentor is anyone you can learn from.
Old Rule: Mentoring is one-on-one.
New Rule: Mentoring works best when you mix and match.
Old Rule: Mentors pick their protégés.
New Rule: Protégés pick their mentors.
Old Rule: You are either a mentor or a mentee.
New Rule: Everyone needs mentors.
Fast Company magazine
The Generation Gap over Feedback:
*Traditionalists (Born 1900-1945): the strong, silent types, aren’t long on praise (they aren’t even long on words), but when they say something about your performance, they mean it.
*Baby Boomers (Born 1946-1964), were raised with the pop psychology of the sixties that said people should open up. They want to sit down on a regular basis and find out where they stand.
*Generation X (Born 1965-1980) came along, asking for immediate feedback.
The generations clash about feedback style as well as format: formal vs. frank, verbal vs. written, e-mail vs. memo, on the spot vs. a set time. Put all these styles together and the feedback a Traditionalist thinks is informative and helpful can seem formal and preachy to the Boomers and the Xers. Feedback a Boomer thinks is fair and judicious can seem uptight and overly political to a Generation Xer or a Traditionalist. Feedback a Generation Xer or Millennial thinks is immediate and honest can seem hasty or even inappropriate to the other generations.
Lynne Lancaster and David Stillman
How to find a Mentor
First think about all of your different needs. Maybe you need help with work. Maybe you’re ready to think about a different career, or explore college options. Maybe you just need someone to talk to, someone neutral, who will be able to give you good advice.
Make some notes about what you’d like to get out of a mentoring relationship. It is easier to ask someone for help if you know what you are asking for.
Make a list of all the people you know who might be able to be your mentor or to help you find a mentor. Be sure to consider the full range of possibilities. Start with the people who are already helping you.
Think about how you might approach them. You may want to call on the telephone and arrange a time to meet and talk in person. Or, you may want to stop by in an informal way. Ask if this is a convenient time to talk to them for a few minutes and ask for their help.
Next, Just Go ahead and ask!
Don’t ask them to be your mentor. Ask for the specific help you need.
1.Tell them what you want to learn.
2.Tell them why you thought they would be a good help.
3.Ask if they would be willing to help you, or to help you connect with another person who might.
4.If they say “no,” they don’t have the time, you should say thanks anyway, but perhaps they could suggest someone else to whom you might turn.
5.If they say “yes,” set up a time for the two of you to have your first meeting.
If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Don’t give up, and don’t get discouraged. You may hear a no from four different people before you hear that magical yes from person number five. Don’t worry about failing. Worry about the chances you miss when you fail to try.
The National Mentoring Partnership
the Role of protégé:
*Drive the development of relationship expectations
*Open and sincere communication
*Establish mutually clear developmental goals
*Effective utilization of mentor time and counsel
*Utilize active listening
*Be sensitive to the needs of the mentor
The core values in the relationship:
mutuality in desire to participate, in expectations, and in respect.
Qualities of a good mentor
*Sensitivity to other’s needs and development
*Avoidance of dominance, control, or over-protection
*Excellent coaching and feedback skills.
*Excellent listening skills.
The Role of the mentor:
*Help the protégé feel a sense of belonging
*Help the protégé through difficult situations
*Build self-confidence of the protégé
*Establish clear, open, two way communication
*Compensate for the protégé’s lack of experience
*Be a source of information and encouragement
*Help develop creative and independent thinking
Society for Human Resources Management, David Hutchins
Listen to us. Listen. Don’t pepper us with questions. Don’t jump in when we don’t answer right away. Listen. Don’t act as though you have all the answers if I’ll just listen.
Girl Scout Leader magazine
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