I am asked on numerous occasions to respond to questions regarding mentoring, mentoring process and how mentoring can bring value to individuals and/or organizations. Here are some of those questions and my responses.
Q: Who are the best mentors for somebody who would like to lead a business managing money for investors?
A: A good mentor would be someone that has the knowledge and experience to actually be a good mentor. They would undoubtedly have had some form of training to better understand mentoring processes and concepts.
I am a firm believe that industry specific experience is a nice to have not a need to have. I mentor people in a number of different industries of which I do not have any specific experience. I do however know the questions to ask to get people thinking from a critical thinking perspective.
In this case, I would be searching for a great/extraordinary mentor who can call on industry specific colleagues to assist in the mentoring process.
Q: Why do you find it difficult to manage millennials?
A: I don’t find it difficult to manage millennials.
I caution against stereotyping based on “generations”.
All the people that I have worked with that you would refer to as “millennials” I have never had a difficult time in managing them. Perhaps that is why - I didn’t manage them. I mentored them and challenged them to critically think and observed their willingness to want to learn and grow. I respected what they brought to the table and I was able to learn from that.
Q: Are business mentors useless?
A: Some good advice has already been provided for you.
I can’t imagine the journey that I have been on without the guidance of a mentor(s). I am currently mentoring a number of people who have launched their own business. They have all stated very clearly that it is a journey that they would not want to take on their own.
If the notion that you have is that business mentors are useless then that would be the outcome that you will realize. Mentoring is a two way trusted relationship and requires commitment on the part of the mentor and mentee. All my research supports the value of having a mentor no matter what you want to do.
Q: Why should I spend money on acquiring a mentor's knowledge, when I could acquire that knowledge on my own?
A: There is a paradigm shift that has taken place where people are now paying for a good mentor. In my situation I provide a combination of free and paid. In my research I have found that paying for an extraordinary mentor is becoming a readily accepted business practice.
I believe that you have a decision to make on whether or not you feel that you will get value from mentoring. It sounds as though you have already decided that you have the knowledge or know where you can get it with the benefit of a mentor. A trained mentor will get you to explore different approaches based on their lived experiences and will present them to you via story-telling. Sometimes we don’t realize that we have the knowledge and it is through a mentor that we unlock the door to that knowledge and then together explore what we might do with that.
Q: Supervisors, managers, or people of in charge. What advice do you have for new supervisors?
A: On a personal note: For the new supervisor watch what other supervisors and managers are doing. You need to see what some of their best practices are and make that part of your tool kit. The behaviors that you observe that do not sit well with you should be cast aside.
On an Organization note: As part of the organization’s leadership development program a mentor should be assigned to any new supervisor or manager. I have seen where that has been done internally and externally and I have seen some better results when it has been an external mentor. It is sometimes easier to discuss things with someone that does not have any of your organization’s baggage. Assigning a mentor helps to set the new supervisor up for success versus failure.
Q: How does having a mentor help you?
A: I have had mentors for the majority of my personal and professional lives and would not be where I am today without my mentors.
Mentoring is a two way trusted relationship where both the mentor and mentee will learn and grow on a personal and professional basis.
Define the expectations of the relationship at the very beginning. Build a trusted relationship as that is the foundation to success for any mentoring relationship/arrangement.
You will need to determine where you want to grow personally and professionally and then be open and flexible to the journey that lies ahead.
Q: My mom and I have never had a good relationship. She was absent and abusive during my childhood. As I got older I began craving "motherly love." What can I do to fix this? Do I need a mentor?
A: Interesting question. Some of the mentor programs that I have been involved in as an advisor to the program manager we have seen similar requests. The mentor fills a void that has been in existence from the mentee’s early childhood years. Whether it be a mother figure or a father figure the mentor is being leaned on to fill that void.
In a situation like this a mentor can become that mother figure that you are looking for. In the training that I provide to mentors I caution them on becoming too emotionally attached to their mentee. They need to define the terms of the relationship at the very beginning. My fear in some of these situations is that accountability for decisions can easily swing back to the mentor and that is not what we want to see take place. The biggest role that they can play is to listen. Sometimes we just need someone to talk to - someone that will listen and not pass judgement. A person that will guide us but not tell us what to do. They will help us develop our critical thinking skills.
Q: How can I earn money by online mentoring?
A: There is a difference between mentoring virtually and mentoring in person or face to face. Both require that you have a strong understanding of mentoring concepts and processes. You would also benefit from some form of mentor training. To go into this without that training would be a recipe for failure - both for you and the person that you are mentoring.
You would want to develop a level of credibility for the mentor services that you are going to offer. This comes with doing some mentoring at no cost.
When I first started my journey there was a lot of mentoring that was done at no cost. Once I had gained momentum I was then able to structure fees for my services. My fees have grown over the years but so has my investment in learning and in being certified competent as a mentor. I am working with a couple of organizations where I was asked if I had any formal training and certifications in order to secure their business.
Doug Lawrence is an extraordinary mentor and mentor certification trainer with TalentC and is the International Mentoring Community Director of Education. Doug shows organizations how mentoring programs will influence a happy workforce culture (mentors), improve employee productivity (mentees), reducing costly employee high turnover (onboarding), improves the bottom line (organizations), which saves 150% to 200% of the annual salary of each departing employee. He provides one-on-one direct mentoring for individuals and groups, all backgrounds and industries locally and internationally.
Doug is an International Certified Mentor Practitioner (ICMP), an International Certified Mentor Facilitator (ICMF), and has obtained his Certificate of Achievement – Mentoring and his Certificate of Competence – Mentor from the International Mentoring Community (IMC).
Doug is recognized as a “Most viewed writer in the Business Mentoring and Mentors and Mentoring categories on the Quora website (www.quora.com).
An international speaker and author of The Gift of Mentoring (2014), Doug’s second book is set to publish in late 2019.
Do you have a workplace crisis or issue to resolve? Schedule a time to meet with Doug: https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence