Mentoring is the practice of helping a mentee learn and grow personally and professionally while navigating through change and challenge.

There is much debate whether a mentor can be effective for their mentee if they have not already lived through a similar experience. This is called lived experience.

“Lived experience refers to a representation of the experiences and choices of a given person, and the knowledge that they gain from these experiences and choices.” (Wikipedia definition)

What do you think? Should mentors without lived experience mentor outside their experience?

My easy answer is that having industry experience is a nice to have, not a need to have; that industry specific experience is not required to bring value to the mentoring arrangement.

My longer answer is

The primary goal for a mentor is to establish a trusted relationship with the mentee. In order to develop that level of trust the mentor utilizes the Questioning Technique (Socratic Method) by asking a series of questions about the mentee, about the organization they work for, and about the role/function they’re responsible for.

By building this level of trust the mentor demonstrates their interest in the mentee, solidifying the relationship and unlocking critical information and details to move forward in their mentoring arrangement.

My Direct Experience

I have worked with people from many different industries over the course of my career. I have had great success with individuals using the questioning technique of the Socratic Method to discover a deeper, richer understanding of who each individual is, where they work, and the challenges they face.

My own direct lived experience comes into play with being able to story tell/story share my lived experiences in order to guide my mentee along their journey. I try to make sure that my stories are relatable and provide some context for the mentee to reflect on.

Some of the outcomes that you may realize from using this technique is that your mentee may experience a higher level of self-esteem and self-confidence. Your mentee may feel safe in your presence as they reflect on the experiences that you have shared, the outcomes you realized and the impact it had on them overall. I have had mentees go back to work in a positive state of mind resulting in them being more productive.

Going into this arrangement with industry specific experience I would have had some bias that would have impacted the arrangement. I would not have made the gains in building a trusted relationship that I did without the industry specific experience. My mentee would have missed out on the reflective exercises and would not have had that sense or feeling of safety as a result of this process.

In conclusion, not having industry specific experience actually creates a deeper, richer mentoring experience for the mentee and the mentor.  This is accomplished through the questioning technique as it probes deeper into the behaviors and challenges that the mentee has been exposed to. The mentor is able to get to the root cause and initiate a behavior change that results in the mentee returning to the productive employee that they were.  WHY?!

If you would like to learn more about this topic contact me to set up a time for us to chat.

For more information about Mentoring Lived Experience and other Mentoring topics - feel free to set up a Zoom call at your convenience through my Calendly link; https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence

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Doug Lawrence is the founder of TalentC® and Co-founder of the International Mentor Community.

Doug leads organizations to experience the benefits how mentoring will encourage workforce culture to flow in harmony (mentors), improve productivity from employees (mentees), reducing costly employee onboarding improving the bottom line (organizations).

Doug is an International Certified Mentor, and has obtained his Certificate of Achievement – Mentoring and his Certificate of Competence – Mentor from the International Mentoring Community (IMC). Doug is currently obtaining his Certificate of Competence – Journey Mentor.

Doug’s Practice of Mentoring has resulted in his accumulation of 2,000 hours of mentoring (in person and virtual), 197 hours of speaking opportunities and 672 hours teaching others how to effectively mentor.

Doug is a volunteer mentor with the Sir Richard Branson Entrepreneur Program in the Caribbean and with the American Corporate Partners in the United States working with military personnel in their transition from military life to civilian life. Doug is currently working with researchers to examine the role of mentoring as a support for those struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). His experience in law enforcement coupled with working with people suffering from PTSD has afforded him a unique view of mentoring and PTSD.

Doug is an international speaker and author about all facets of Mentoring. He published “The Gift of Mentoring” in 2014 with his second book set to publish in 2020.

Doug works with organizations to establish mentoring programs, influence mentoring as a culture, and provides one-on-one direct mentoring for individuals of all backgrounds and levels globally.

Contact Doug directly to discover how mentoring can improve your organization.

>>  https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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: Is it possible to fix a toxic work environment without changing the company's leadership?

A: If the toxicity is evident in the company's leadership it is difficult to completely change the culture and eradicate the toxicity. You can give the employees the tools that they need to work within that culture but at the end of the day it is still a toxic work environment.

Think of this as learned behavior - in that if the behavior is not changed then people (employees) begin to think that it is acceptable. The toxin will continue to spread and the outcome is that the good employees will leave because they can.

In the culture assessment work that I do I see this often.

Q: What is the best way to reconnect with a mentor?

A: That depends on how long it has been since you last met. If it has been a while then you would need to define the terms of the relationship again and revisit the building of trust. If it has recently happened then you may not need to re-establish the trust as it will already be there.

If your question is more on logistics - depending on the nature of your past relationship and reason for disconnect you may be able to just reach out.

I always leave a mentoring engagement with the comment that they can reach out to me at any time after we have formally ended the relationship. For me the door is never closed and we can always reconnect when the need arises.

Q: Do you feel a counselor could also be one's mentor? Are they sort of one in the same?

A: Interesting timing for this question. I am doing some research on mentoring and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and how a mentor can be a resource for support. I always come back to the definition of mentoring - a two way trusted relationship where both the mentor and mentee learn and grow personally and professionally. Where the mentor encounters situations that should be dealt with by a trained professional then they have the ethical obligation to help the person find the right resources to address their situation. The mentor still owns the relationship and is encouraged to stand beside their mentee no matter what.

There are some elements of counseling that take place in a mentoring relationship. The mentor needs to make sure that they do not mentor beyond their capability. Trained mentors are essential if we are dealing with something that may need to be referred to a professional counselor.

Be mindful of any conflicts of interest in this situation. I also encourage you to do some research on the hierarchy of mentoring - mentor, great mentor, extraordinary mentor. As you work your way up the pyramid your ability to address situations like this become more prevalent.

Q: What is business coaching and mentoring?

A: There are a number of definitions that are out there. I have found that this one works the best. If you apply all that is stated below in a business context you should have the answer to your question.

Mentoring: Ongoing relationship that can last for a long period of time

Coaching: Relationship generally has a set duration

Mentoring: Can be more informal and meetings can take place as and when the mentee needs some advice, guidance or support

Coaching: Generally more structured in nature and meetings are scheduled on a regular basis

Mentoring: More long-term and takes a broader view of the person

Coaching: Short-term (sometimes time-bounded) and focused on specific development areas/issues

Mentoring: Mentor is usually more experienced and qualified than the ‘mentee'. May be a senior person in the organization who can pass on knowledge, experience and open doors to otherwise out-of-reach opportunities using techniques such as the Socratic Method and story-telling. Industry specific knowledge is a nice to have not a need to have.

Coaching is generally not performed on the basis that the coach needs to have direct experience of their client's formal occupational role, unless the coaching is specific and skills-focused

Mentoring: Focus is on career and personal development

Coaching: Focus is generally on development/issues at work

Mentoring: Agenda is set by the mentee, with the mentor providing support and guidance to prepare them for future roles

Coaching: The agenda is focused on achieving specific, immediate goals

Mentoring revolves more around developing the mentee on a personal and professional basis. The mentor will also learn and grow in the relationship.

Coaching revolves more around specific development areas/issues

Q: What are the benefits of a mentoring program in the workplace?

A: The research shows that mentees receive career and psychosocial benefits from formal mentoring. Career-related benefits include an increase in job performance ratings which lead
to salary increases and promotion, and improved competence in the job. The psychosocial benefits, or mentor-mentee interpersonal support, include friendship, emotional support, satisfaction and personal development (Kram, 1985). Mentoring has been found to positively impact career success, through more promotions, more mobility, higher income and career satisfaction (Chao, Walz & Gardner, 1992).

 

For mentors, research has shown increases in personal satisfaction and job satisfaction. In addition, mentors receive assistance from their mentees on projects and also enhance their own skills by learning from the mentee. The relationship can help a mentor learn new perspectives about the organization (Murray, 2006). One study (Gentry, et. al., 2008) found that mentoring helps the mentor gain support through mentee networks that supply critical information that assist the mentor in some way when needed. This research implies that a reciprocal relationship can be created between mentor and mentee where both learn and educate the other.

For organizations, the benefits of mentoring include retention, promotion, productivity and personal and professional development. With these benefits, organizations with formal mentoring programs create a learning environment that fosters personal and professional growth for mentors and mentees. In turn, this accelerates the processes for identifying, developing and retaining quality talent (Kahle-Piasecki, 2011).

The benefit of mentoring extends to the company culture if it is well integrated and does not utilize it as a one-time intervention. This means that, for example, mentoring relationships can create an integrated learning and development culture with increased communication, collaboration, and support between all employees in an organization, resulting in a more informal matching system between mentors and mentees (Burr et al., 2011). In fact, research shows that matching based on mentor-mentee similarities (e.g. personality, interests) leads to more positive psychosocial outcomes, such as interpersonal satisfaction, compared to formal assignments (Kendall, 2007).

Today, organizations are combating negative trends such as disengaged employees, lack of succession planning, and talent shortages. As the research shows, organizations cannot afford not to fully develop their human resources. If they're unsure how to develop their HR then they should get hr consultancy to help guide them. The return on their investment is seen in employee productivity and optimum organizational functioning that positively affects their bottom line. Therefore, it is essential for mentoring programs--or any training and development programs--to be evaluated both in terms of successful functioning and return on investment.

Q: Can unjustifiably high expectations from a mentor block your success?

A: First off the mentor's role is to guide and encourage not to set expectations for you. This question almost sounds like your mentor is focused on career development and is not taking into account your personal growth. When we focus solely on the career development piece we are not addressing the barriers/obstacles that may arise from personal growth challenges.

I always start with some level of exploration regarding my mentee's personal growth challenges whether it be self-esteem, self-confidence, etc. Addressing those first can pave the path to a better career development journey.

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Doug Lawrence is the founder of TalentC®.

Doug leads organizations to experience the benefits how mentoring will encourage workforce culture to flow in harmony (mentors), improve productivity from employees (mentees), reducing costly employee onboarding improving the bottom line (organizations).

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's Practice of Mentoring has resulted in his accumulation of 1,904 hours of mentoring (in person and virtual), 197 hours of speaking opportunities and 672 hours teaching others how to effectively mentor.

Doug is recognized as a "Most viewed writer in the Business Mentoring and Mentors and Mentoring categories on the Quora website (www.quora.com).

Doug is a volunteer mentor with the Sir Richard Branson Entrepreneur Program in the Caribbean and with the American Corporate Partners in the United States working with military personnel in their transition from military life to civilian life.

Doug is currently working with researchers to examine the role of mentoring as a support for those struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). His experience in law enforcement coupled with working with people suffering from PTSD has afforded him a unique view of mentoring and PTSD.

Doug is an international speaker and author about all facets of Mentoring. He published "The Gift of Mentoring" in 2014 with his second book set to publish in 2020.

Doug works with organizations to establish mentoring programs, influence mentoring as a culture, and provides one-on-one direct mentoring for individuals of all backgrounds and levels globally.

Contact Doug directly to discover how mentoring can improve your organization.

>> https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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: How do you initiate a mentor-mentee relationship?

A: First off you need to find someone that could be a mentor for you. That may be from your current network or through some other sources such as a mentor software site that has a database of mentors. (www.mentorcity.com)

There are also some organizations that offer mentorship to people as part of their services that they provide. If you are an entrepreneur there are programs that have mentorship included. (www.futurepreneur.ca)

Once you have found a mentor then the next step is to set up a time to meet and define the terms of the relationship. Makes sure you both articulate your expectations so that it is clear what both parties hope to gain from the time spent together.

I usually have the first meeting and then recommend that we sleep on it. If I wake up in the morning feeling positive about the proposed relationship then I am ready to move forward. If I am not feeling good then I will work with you to find someone that you would be more compatible with.

Q: I'm a teacher and I love it, but I don't feel as if I'm a good teacher. What can I do to improve?

A: You could connect with a mentor as the first step. Your willingness to improve is the sign of a person who wants to continue to improve and continue to be of value to others.

My favorite quote is “when we stop learning, we stop leading” (Ken Blanchard). Don’ t view this as something negative but view this as an opportunity to learn and grow. Believe in yourself and the value that you bring to the classroom. As a teacher you are changing lives and you are doing that with passion. Continue your focus in that direction and believe in who you are.

Q: Can you provide an example of transformational leadership?

A: Steve Jobs – Steve Jobs has to mandatorily be one of the names in the most iconic transformational leaders the world has ever seen. His passion for perfection, simplicity and sophistication drove the company and he made sure that it got engraved into every employee who worked at Apple. He constantly challenged his employees to think beyond what has already been done and made them create products that the world did not even know it needed.

Q: Why don't more people get start-up mentoring? Research shows founders with mentors are far more successful.

A: I agree that having a mentor contributes to achieving success. It is possible that we do not have enough incubators that can provide mentoring as part of their service. It could also be that the cost of mentors through the incubator are too steep for someone in the early stages. There is also the issue of you sometimes get what you pay for. Sometimes we get a business coach when we actually wanted a mentor. If you are a start-up you need to do some homework to see if there are any incubators in your area. If not then I encourage you to reach out through this site to find someone. Take a look at www.levellingup.ca. This is a great organization that has a unique model for providing the services that it offers.

Q; Do you believe leadership is born talent?

A: I believe that some people are born leaders while others learn the skill over time. i also believe that you can be at different levels as a leader depending on your lived experiences and capacity to continuous learn.

Jim Collins and a couple of other leadership experts speak to the 5 levels of leadership. (Good to Great - Jim Collins).

The challenge that we have today is in the development of those highly sought after skills. There is a global leadership talent shortage that is not getting better but is getting worse. Leadership development needs to become a priority for organizations.

Q: How can a manager with an empowering style succeed in an organization with very little authority granted to employees and managers?

A: My first thought was that perhaps this is not the right organization for you if your style differs from that of the organization.

We always tell leaders that each employee that they work with is unique and that they have to tailor their leadership style to meet the needs of each employee. This creates the optimum organization and a positive culture.

What I teach employees that I work with through mentoring is the reverse of this concept. I get them to see each manager that they work with as being unique and how they communicate with that manager needs to be tailored to that particular person. Use of the Socratic Method of asking questions can be a valuable tool but it must be used correctly or it may make things worse.

My suggestion is that you would benefit from a trained mentor who will provide you with some tools to deal with the situation that you have outlined.

I have been working with a couple of people recently that have experienced exactly what you are talking about. I have provided them with the tools they need to increase their survival rate.

Q: What is involved in a mentor relationship? As the mentor and as the beneficiary.

A: First off we need to understand the definition of mentoring: Mentoring is a two way trusted relationship where the mentor and mentee are both going to learn and grow on a personal and professional basis.

This is a bit of a paradigm shift in that the Traditional style of mentoring was always an older person mentoring a younger person with a focus on career development (professional growth). You could also add into the mix the idea of a younger person mentoring an older person - referred to as “reverse mentoring” which is a term I am not a huge fan of. Reverse means to go backwards - my mentoring relationships are not focused on going backwards!

The term effective mentoring fits quite nicely with the definition provided - a two way trust relationship where both parties learn and grow together.

There needs to be commitment on the part of the mentor and mentee. There needs to be accountability to each other. Expectations need to be set at the very beginning of the relationship. Personal growth challenges need to be addressed early if not first in the relationship (self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-doubt). There should be a comfort level in sharing something personal in order to build trust. If you can’t establish trust then the relationship will not be successful.

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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

 

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL MENTORING COMMUNITY: What is it and How Can You Benefit from It?

 

 

 

 

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: How do I find a mentor coach to help with behavioral addictions?

A: From a mentor perspective we look at personal and professional growth. Behavioral addictions would be what I refer to as obstacles or barriers to your professional growth. A trained mentor will only be able to do so much and you would need professional counseling to take you further. Having said that if you engage with an effective mentor they would still own the relationship with you and would have the network of professionals that they can connect you with.

Q: What attributes should a good mentor have?

A: First off I believe we need to understand the true definition of mentoring. Mentoring is a two way trusted relationship where the mentor and mentee will both learn and grow personally and professionally.

There are mentors, great mentors and extraordinary mentors - each with their own skill set and abilities.

You would want a mentor that is great at building trust and in fact trusted relationships, is an effective communicator. By that I mean that they listen and hear, they know when to be quiet and listen versus always wanting to take the floor. They need to have compassion and the ability to build a safe environment for a mentoring conversation to take place. They need to understand the Socratic Method of asking questions and need to know when and how to use that technique. They need to guide versus tell and must never be responsible for the outcomes - if this happens they then take ownership of accountability and will create a dependency relationship.

I hope that this gives you some insight into what you should be looking for.

Q: What does a professional mentor do?

A: Great question!

I would be what you call a professional mentor or the term that I use is extraordinary mentor.

Here is the definition of an extraordinary mentor: “An extraordinary mentor is the one person that we all seek to become “our” mentor. They have embraced effective mentoring and the mentoring concepts as a way of life. They are typically someone that has had formal training and is certified as a competent mentor. Their client base spans the corporate world, private sector and entrepreneurial space. They demonstrate that industry knowledge is a nice to have – not a need to have as they are comfortable working cross industry. They are humble and use story telling/story sharing as a means to share their experiences. They mentor in person and remotely using technology as a communication medium. They are a student of the mentoring process and strive to learn and grow as much as the people they are mentoring. They create that extraordinary mentoring experience.”

I mentor people at all levels of an organization in person and virtually globally. I focus on the personal aspect of my client and then on their professional growth as the two are very much related.

If you wish to learn more please feel free to reach out to me and we can have a conversation.

Q: As a mentor, how do you get through to those facing different challenges than you had?

A: An extraordinary mentor is good at asking questions and knowing the right questions to ask in order to stimulate the critical thinking skills of their mentee. They are also good at story telling or story sharing using relevant experiences that are translated into a story format - guiding not telling.

I have had mentoring sessions that I did not have industry experience in on a professional level or something that the person is dealing with on a personal basis. I have found in each and every one that asking questions and telling stories has helped us navigate through the challenges with positive outcomes.

Proper mentor training will help alleviate questions that you may have on how to pull all of this together.

Q: Which mentors have helped you helped you in your life and which were not worth the time as you look back now?

A: All of my mentors - current and past has brought something to the mentor relationship. I can honestly say that there was never the time that I would say that it had been worth the time. If you are wanting to work with a mentor you need to be open to learning and development and knowing how to identify what those learning opportunities are. Sometimes the messages are there but we just don’t realize it at that specific time. Listen and hear what is being shared with you as it can be transformational.

Q: How do you mentor or help that one person who is always judgemental in pointing out the flaws of their co-workers?

A: My first question would be whether or not this person is open to constructive feedback themselves before they pass judgement on others. A large part of the challenge is the lack of communication skills in situations like this. One of the things that we teach through the mentoring process is the art of effective communication which would work well in this particular case. Using the pause technique and asking yourself how is what I am about to say going to be received is a great place to start. If you have any doubt that it will not be received in the right context then perhaps it is time to reword! This process works really well and enhances people’s communication skills.

Q: As a supervisor or boss, how do you handle a worker who has issues at work?

A: What some organizations have done is to bring in an external mentor to work with the employee to initiate behavioral changes for the positive. In all the situations that I have been involved in we have been successful in each and every one. In some cases the issues were personal which translated into work place behavior challenges. In other situations it was all about providing tools to assist in a positive behavior going forward. One thing to keep in mind is that it is not always the worker who needs guidance but it could also be the supervisor or boss.

Q: What are the benefits to having a business mentor?

A: I started my own business a number of years ago and have had mentors with me for the entire journey. I found mentors that brought certain skills and knowledge to the table to assist me. The important thing was that they all shared their lived experience but did not tell me what to do. They encouraged me by asking me questions to get me to critically think my way through the various challenges and opportunities that I would encounter.

I would not be where I am today if it were not from their guidance.

Q: How can entrepreneurs/founders get more leadership training?

A: Leadership training can come in a number of different manners of which mentoring is one. I am working with organizations to help develop their new managers through the mentoring process. I work with entrepreneurs to provide them with guidance to enhance their leadership capabilities. Formal leadership training if recommended is only part of the journey. You do need to have mentoring built into any leadership development program that you may have. I would recommend reaching out to a trained mentor to see what they can do for you. Make sure that you are going to get value from this and that they are the right fit for your organization.

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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

 

 

INTERNATIONAL MENTORING COMMUNITY: What is it and How Can You Benefit from It?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you wondered what all the hype is about this thing they call “Mentoring” and what’s the difference between it and “coaching”?

Unfortunately, Mentoring and Coaching are two terms the public uses interchangeably. While there are similarities between the two, they are unique differences that set them apart:

Mentoring

The role of the mentor is to build capability. The developmental mentor helps the learner discover their own wisdom by encouraging them to work towards career goals or develop self-reliance.

The Mentor Helps the Learner discover their wisdom.

The mentoring relationship is off-line — on both a personal and professional basis intertwined. Mentoring use to be focused on just career development/professional growth but has evolved to now include the personal growth elements. The mentor does not have authority over the mentee — and centres on the learner’s personal goals.

Because the relationship is mutually beneficial strong bonds are often forged and may extend the lifetime of the mentoring relationship both Professionally and Personally

Coaching

The role of coaching tends to improve task and performance. The role of a skills or performance coach is to give feedback on observed performance. Consequently, coaching usually happens at the workplace.

The Coach Helps the Learner stay focused on key tasks to change their performance level.

The coaching relationship is more on-line — purely professional (unless a life coach) The Coach is likely to set or suggest goals for the learner; measuring performance periodically as the learner develops new skills. This needs a good working relationship between learner and coach.

If you attempt a Google search on coaching and mentoring, you will find varying definitions.  The above was pulled from both the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and the International Mentoring Community (IMC).

Coaching and Mentoring can be further defined with:

Mentoring:

 Coaching:

Mentoring:

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Mentoring:

Coaching:

Mentoring:

Coaching:

Mentoring:

Coaching:

Mentoring:

Coaching:

Mentoring:

Coaching:

We have a ways to go to properly educate the public to be able to clearly decipher what mentoring and coaching is, isn’t, and which is needed based on a unique set of circumstances.

The public has not caught on to what effective mentoring is. There is a paradigm shift that is focused on creating a deeper, richer understanding of the true business value of mentoring and how it can create positive change in individuals and organizations. This will increase productivity and retention rates, lower employee turnover and create an engaged, empowered and accountable workforce.

I have seen many cases and have consulted with organizations where the employee did not respond to coaching, but did respond favorably and quickly to the Mentoring Approach (a 7-Step Mentoring Process of the International Mentoring Community (IMC)).

When effective mentoring techniques are applied, the results are a deeper, richer mentoring experience that gets results.

 

Doug Lawrence is the founder of TalentC®.

 

Doug shows organizations how mentoring will encourage workforce culture to flow in harmony (mentors), improve productivity from employees (mentees), reducing costly employee onboarding improving the bottom line (organizations).

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 an international speaker and author about all facets of Mentoring. He published “The Gift of Mentoring” in 2014 with his second book set to publish in 2019.

Doug works with organizations to establish mentoring programs, influence mentoring as a culture, and provides one-on-one direct mentoring for individuals of all backgrounds and levels globally.

To contact Doug: https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence

 

 

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Update - May 2020

So much has happened since I wrote this article in 2015 that I thought it was time to add to it. Globally we are dealing with a Pandemic and our normal life has changed and we have yet to define our new norm. A lot has changed for me as well and I will share that with you now.

In the fall of 2017 I began the journey of moving to a new certification body which would take mentor certification to a whole new level. I was very fortunate to be introduced to Dr. Stephen Hobbs who ironically was exploring mentor competence as was I. The need for a shift to competence had come from mentor practitioners who wanted more. They encouraged me to move ahead in researching and implementing a mentor certification that was focused on competence. Dr. Hobbs brought his wisdom and knowledge of certification and the ISO standards that were part of that process.

In 2018, the International Mentoring Community (IMC) was formed with that organization becoming the certification body for mentors. Three levels of certification have been developed; Certificate of Achievement – Mentoring, Certificate of Competence – Mentor and Certificate of Competence – Journey Mentor. The Certification schema ISO 9001 – Quality, ISO 17024 – Assessment, and ISO 21001 – Education Management are the global standards that are key to the IMC Certification process. While the IMC could be the provider of “all things mentoring” it has become the independent body to provide governance, standards, certification and re-certification for mentors. The certification process has moved away from using an examination as a determining factor to one of a portfolio based. Mentors wishing to be certified build a portfolio which contains a number of elements which includes a mentoring log. The portfolio once completed is submitted to an Auditor for the Certificate of Achievement – Mentoring and to a Verifier for the Certificate of Competence – Mentor and Certificate of Competence – Journey Mentor. The Verifier is verifying that the mentor is competent based on their portfolio and an extensive Verification interview. Each Certification Level is driven by the Profile document that has been completed. The Profile document contains Action_Outcome or competence statements that clearly articulate the behaviors the mentor must possess in order to create that deeper, richer mentoring experience.

IMC is also a source of knowledge in the form of articles, videos, courses and workshops on all things mentoring. Continuous learning and development is important to certified mentors as they continue to grow their mentoring practice.

We have evolved over the past few years and now have an international certification for mentors and have taken mentor certification to a new level – a deeper, richer mentoring experience based on competence.

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Doug Lawrence is the founder of TalentC® and Co-founder of the International Mentor Community.

Doug leads organizations to experience the benefits how mentoring will encourage workforce culture to flow in harmony (mentors), improve productivity from employees (mentees), reducing costly employee onboarding improving the bottom line (organizations).

Doug is an International Certified Mentor, and has obtained his Certificate of Achievement – Mentoring and his Certificate of Competence – Mentor from the International Mentoring Community (IMC). Doug is currently obtaining his Certificate of Competence – Journey Mentor.

Doug’s Practice of Mentoring has resulted in his accumulation of 2,000 hours of mentoring (in person and virtual), 197 hours of speaking opportunities and 672 hours teaching others how to effectively mentor.

Doug is a volunteer mentor with the Sir Richard Branson Entrepreneur Program in the Caribbean and with the American Corporate Partners in the United States working with military personnel in their transition from military life to civilian life. Doug is currently working with researchers to examine the role of mentoring as a support for those struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). His experience in law enforcement coupled with working with people suffering from PTSD has afforded him a unique view of mentoring and PTSD.

Doug is an international speaker and author about all facets of Mentoring. He published “The Gift of Mentoring” in 2014 with his second book set to publish in 2020.

Doug works with organizations to establish mentoring programs, influence mentoring as a culture, and provides one-on-one direct mentoring for individuals of all backgrounds and levels globally.

Contact Doug directly to discover how mentoring can improve your organization.

>>  https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence

March 2015

I wrote an article for Certification Subject Matter Experts (CSME – http://csme.us/certification-in-mentoring-why-is-it-important/) on the topic of Certification as it relates to mentoring. CSME offers the International Certification for Mentoring and the professional designation as a International Certified Mentor Practitioner. The designation is based on International Standards Organization (ISO) 17024.
In some of my conversations with clients there is some confusion in the terminology around mentor training and mentor programs/cultures. There are times where the lines become blurred for some reason and I thought we could set the record straight.

The International Certification for Mentoring and the professional designation as a Certified Mentor Practitioner is achieved through a combination of academic and practical experience. CSME is the independent body that oversees the accreditation, certification and examination process as well as ensuring that the standards and Governance processes are maintained with integrity. TalentC®is the Accredited Training Organization that provides the accredited curriculum required in order to gain the knowledge and expertise required for the professional designation. This is sometimes referred to incorrectly as a mentor program.

A mentor program or a mentor culture in the majority of situations does not go through the accreditation, certification, or Governance process that the International Certification for Mentoring has. In the majority of cases programs are implemented with or without the guidance of a consultant and the organization continues its journey with mentoring. These programs are not certified unless they have gone through an independent process. The International Mentoring Association offers that service where they can certified your mentoring program and provide you with the standards required to ensure that your program will sustain its growth in your organization and more importantly it will have the Governance and standards to ensure its success. (http://mentoringassociation.org/recognition/accreditation-2/accreditation-process/)
When I think of a mentor program I think of a number of different things that need to be in place. I will comment on those shortly but want to refresh our memory on the four reasons that mentoring programs fail: 1) lack of corporate support, 2) lack of structure, 3) lack of training and 4) a culture that will not support mentoring. If any of those are not in alignment it can be a recipe for failure. We strongly recommend a culture assessment to determine an organization’s mentor readiness prior to implementing a mentoring program.

When implementing a mentor program or a mentor culture we should always be asking ourselves what is the business problem we are trying to solve with mentoring. If you can answer that question then we can begin to measure the effectiveness of mentoring in your organization. If you cannot answer that question then you need to step back from your implementation plans and determine “why” you are going on this journey. Once you have progressed past this step you can then look at communication strategies, structures, stakeholders, training, etc. which are all key components to the success of your mentor program implementation. One of the things to ask yourself is do I want to have my mentor program “certified” and if so is it important enough to seek that independent 3rd party review such as what is offered by the International Mentoring Association. Self-certification/accreditation detracts from the credibility that your program may have.

I have done a lot of research on the topic of certifications and accreditation over the past few years and having that overseen by an independent body is a best practice and one that adds value to your clients when it relates to professional designations. When it relates to certifying your program and using the terminology that you have a “certified program” having that done through a 3rd party brings additional credibility to your organization, the program that you have implemented and the services that you provide.
Certification and accreditation is an important step and one that should not be taken lightly.

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