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: Is buying mentorship worth it in 2019?

A: I agree with Wesley in that you need to make the decision whether you want to invest in yourself or not. A mentor can’t answer that for you. You obviously would have some options. A session by session option works for you from not having to commit to the long term but makes it really difficult to develop a trusting relationship which is a foundational element for successful mentoring relationships/arrangements. Purchasing a package of time is another option that would work for both you and the mentor. The mentor can commit to a strategy over a fixed period of time versus a commitment session by session.

You can think about the frequency of the mentor sessions and determine if access to your mentor is available in between the scheduled sessions. As part of my service offering I usually provide access to me in between sessions in case something comes up that is better dealt with immediately. Technology will become your best friend in reaching out to your mentor.

Finally you need to ask yourself one question, “Can you afford not to?”

Q: Have you ever mentored a software engineer intern? If so what was your process?

A: I have mentored people in the IT industry including software engineers. The process that I use varies very little between functions and industries. During the expectation discussion of what the mentor and mentee are each looking for I would determine the intern’s need for mentoring and then go from there. What I have found in the majority of my mentoring practice is that mentoring relationships/arrangements are a blend of personal and professional. If we do not address the personal challenges then we will likely have roadblocks and barriers to contend with.

The mentoring process is all about asking questions and that is what I would be doing in this case. I want to learn about the intern, their job, the organization and from there ask questions that stimulate critical thinking. We would work on creating a safe environment for the relationship/arrangement to grow and the building of a trusted relationship.

If you have more questions please feel free to reach out to me.

Q: Is having a mentor really important in order to advance my career?

A: I agree with what Sarah had said. This is a question that only you can truly answer. Understanding what the mentoring process is all about and what the benefits are will help you answer your question.

Think of mentoring as a two way trusted relationship where both the mentor and mentee will learn and grow on a personal and professional basis. The relationship must be two way, must be based on respect and trust and must be developed and nurtured in a safe environment.

I would recommend that you do some Google searches on the benefits of mentoring on a personal basis and on a professional basis. Inside all of that information lies the answer to your question. For me, the answer is simply, “Can you afford not to?”

Q: Have you considered using an Executive Coach? Why or why not?

A: I would add one more question to the mix and that is, “have you considered using an executive mentor?” Why or why not.

Executive mentoring is a growing practice. I have been interviewed by a proposed client along with some executive coaches and was selected to provide executive mentoring services. It was all about fit for the person and the value that he/she would receive from me. I am working with executives remotely and face to face on a global stage and it all comes back to understanding what your need is and how is that best served - executive coaching or executive mentoring.

Understanding the difference between the two is important and understanding what the outcomes are that you are looking for are key points that you need to address before securing any of these services. You need to make sure that you are going to get the value that you expect.

Q: Can a person be a good leader and a good mentor both at the same time?

A: The short answer is YES you can be a good leader and good mentor at the same time.

Let me qualify that a little bit more for you. When you look at the skill sets required for great leaders and you compare them to the skill sets required to be a great mentor they are very similar if not identical. In one of the leadership and mentoring presentations that I do on transformational leadership and mentoring I compare the two functions. They are for the most part identical. When you look at servant leadership the skill sets are similar as well.

When you look at Jim Collins’s book Good to Great you see the five levels of leadership. Mentoring has three - mentor, great mentor, and extraordinary mentor.

A great leader is a great mentor and a great mentor is a great leader.

 

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: What’s in it for someone who mentors fellow professionals for free?

A: I have a mix of people that I am in a mentoring partnership with - some that pay for the service and some that I provide the service at no cost. I view that as a way that I can give back.

I firmly believe that it is not about me and my focus needs to be on the person I am being of service to.

I don’t want you to be misguided however as I always come away with learning something from the time I spend with someone. It can be about them, the mentoring process or about myself. Seeing someone else grow whether on a personal or professional note is rewarding enough.

One of the things that I always focus on and always ask the question is, “what was the value that we got from our time together today?” The answer to that question is “what’s in it for me.”

Q: How do you mentor junior project managers?

A: This is a question that I get asked a lot and it always focuses on the myth that I need to have experience in a particular field before I can mentor someone from that industry.

I mentor people in all different industries and sectors and I do not have experience in some of those areas. As a result of being open to learning and asking the right questions I am gaining that knowledge through the mentoring partnerships that I have.

Mentoring is a two way trusted relationship where both parties of the mentoring partnership learn and grow on a personal and professional basis. The mentoring of a junior Project Manager would basically require that you follow proper mentoring concepts. You guide through the asking of the right questions to help the person develop or enhance critical thinking skills. Through the asking of those questions you will gain knowledge in the job and the industry that the PM is working in.

What I have found that is the most important task is making sure that you focus on the personal growth at the beginning of the relationship. I have seen far too often that when we don’t address the personal challenges the relationship slowly begins to erode and fall apart.

Q: Do you have a mentor? If you do, how did they become your mentor?

A: I have a number of mentors each who address a specific need or they are capable of addressing more than one specific need.

Some of the mentors that I have had or currently have were as a result of participating in an entrepreneurial start up program where mentoring is a key service that is provided.

Some of the mentors I have today are those that I found through work related relationships and the sense that they could fill a void that I may have. Because of my function as a Certified Competent Mentor and providing of that service to others I have become very particular about who I ask to become one of my mentors.

I am truly blessed to have the mentors that I do as part of my mentoring partnerships.

Q: How would the world be without mentors?

A: I honestly don’t believe that we have tapped into the full potential of mentoring. There is still some confusion as to what mentoring is all about and a lot of people are unsure of how to unlock mentoring in their organization.

I facilitate a mentoring circle every two weeks and we discuss what would life be like without mentoring. We have lots of great examples of where mentoring has been of value but the uncertainty is still there as some struggle understanding the full potential.

My best example of what it would be like is to illustrate what it could be like if we truly embraced the “gift of mentoring”. Imagine a world where mentoring was in place right from the very moment you are brought into the world. Mentoring would begin in the home. As you embarked on your educational journey you got to experience mentoring in the schools. Mentoring that followed you through to your journey to higher education and finally into the corporate world. You would be experiencing a nation, a country, a world that pride’s itself on learning and the sharing of that learning with others through the “gift of mentoring”.

When you picture that and fully embrace the “gift of mentoring” and what it has the potential to do I believe we have painted a picture of what it COULD be like rather than what it is WITHOUT it.  Ask yourself - “can we afford not to?”

Q: What is the best way to find a mentor for my business?

A: There are a number of ways that you can search for and find a mentor. You need to determine first however what it is that you need. You also have to come to terms with the fact that your mentor(s) do not need your industry specific knowledge. It is a nice to have - not a need to have. I am mentoring a number of people in different industries/sectors and we are moving forward with no difficulty.

Check with your local business community to see if there are any mentoring programs where they match mentors and mentees. You can also look on line for various organizations that provide business mentoring.

You may also want to explore a referral. I get a number of people being referred to me so we can begin to discuss whether or not we could work together in a mentoring relationship.

Once you think you have found someone it is really important to explore whether or not there is chemistry between the two of you as without that your relationship will struggle. Make sure you define expectations on both parts. Understand that some mentors charge for their services - if that is the case then you need to do some additional checks to make sure that you will receive value for that service.

Make sure that you are committed to the mentoring relationship and are willing to do the work that is required to be successful on a personal and professional level.

Q: Do you think achieving your goals is the result of mentoring, network connections or luck?

A: When I look back over my career and all of my accomplishments I would have to say that it is a little of all three. My network has provided me with some open doors which has resulted in being able to make a difference. Some of my accomplishments have been luck or more about being in the right place at the right time. Overall though mentoring has been the most consistent process in helping me achieve my goals and continues to do so today. Working with a great mentor is a blessing and is something that we need to commit to the journey. If you don’t commit then you will only see minimal benefits.

Q: What people skills have you learned from a mentor?

A: There are a number of skills that I have learned as a result of mentoring whether it be as a mentor or the recipient of great mentoring. I see everyone as unique and I need to tailor my leadership skills to each person on an individual basis. Mentoring is much the same. Another set of skills that I have learned and how share as part of my mentoring process/technique is “effective communication”. “Effective communication” takes into account active listening - listening and hearing what the other person is saying, listening for trigger words and deflections in the conversation, learning to pause and reflect before speaking - “how is what I am about to say going to be received? “The use of the Socratic Method - asking questions instead of telling someone how to do something.

The list goes on from here. Understanding people and how they communicate is a leadership skill as well as that of an extraordinary mentor.

Q: What is your best advice for someone who is thinking of mentoring others?

A: One of the things that I always recommend to anyone interested in the mentoring process is that if at all possible get some training on mentoring techniques and processes. You will find that by doing so you are able to create a deeper, richer mentoring experience not only for yourself but the person you are going to be mentoring.

Be open to learn as well. With each mentoring session that I do I come away having learned something about the person I am working with or about myself.  I then use that in my reflection that I do before and after each mentoring session.

Be committed to the process and to the person that you are going to be mentoring. Do not impose your expectations on your mentee but seek to understand their expectations and ability to meet those expectations. There are a number of moving parts in the mentoring process.

Most importantly enjoy the journey!

 

 

 

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: Is a mentor crucial to success?

A: Mentoring focuses on personal and professional growth and we can have success in both of those areas. Anytime that you can have someone walk beside you as you continue your growth personally and professionally it is a good idea - in fact highly recommended.

When I look back over my career and where I am today I would not have achieved the success that I have had without the benefit of numerous mentors. These mentors have helped me grow on a personal and professional basis.

The short answer to your question is, “can you afford not to?”

Q: Who is an unlikely mentor and why?

A: Mentoring is a two way trusted relationship where the mentor and mentee will learn and grow together personally and professionally. It is all about building a trusted relationship and for the mentor to be able to create that safe environment for the relationship to nurture and grow.

To specifically answer your question an unlikely mentor for me would be someone that I could not make a connection with - that there was no chemistry with. I may realize part way into the mentoring relationship that this person cannot provide me with what I am looking for. It would be time to end that relationship and look for someone that can provide me with what I want.

What I am finding with all the mentoring that I am doing - paid and free is that the ability to listen is crucial. Someone that is not a good listener would not be a good mentor for me. Sometimes all we need is to talk our way through the problems that we are dealing with.

Q: If you were to pay someone for business coaching and mentorship, what would you look for?

A: I would be wanting to make sure that there was some form of chemistry between us. I would want them to be comfortable with addressing personal and professional growth. There are some business mentors that are not comfortable with the personal growth challenges. I have good examples of where the relationship went sour because they were not able to build a trusting relationship and unable to connect with the soft skills.

Ideally I would want someone that had some form of training. I recently was certified competent as a mentor and I see the value in that for me and how I mentor and it also has an impact for my mentees.

I would want my mentor to validate regularly that they are bringing value especially when I am paying for the service.

There are lot more variables that can come into play when selecting a mentor based on your criteria. These are some that I get most perspective mentees to consider before entering into an agreement for services.

Q: Can mentoring be a hindrance rather than a help to staff progression?

A: Mentoring if done correctly with a person who is committed to the journey would be more of a help rather than a hindrance.

What gets missed in the professional development via mentoring is the personal aspect. I always focus on the personal growth first in order to remove any obstacles or barriers that may be a hindrance to professional development.

Proper training for mentors in the mentoring process is key to all of this.

Q: What do the best Mentors do?

A: Best Mentors or extraordinary mentors want to be of service. They work with people to guide them on their journey to personal and professional growth. Extraordinary Mentors learn and grow along with the people they serve. There isn’t a time when I haven’t learned something from a mentoring session. Extraordinary Mentors are caring, humble and always put the people they serve first.

A great leader is a great mentor and a great mentor is a great leader.

Q: Do you have any mentors? Who are they?

A: I have a number of mentors. I have a mentor that provides me with business advice and guidance, someone that fulfills my need for relationships, someone who can advise me on technology but is also a good friend, someone that can advise me on marketing. This is just a sample of the marvelous people that I have been able to surround myself with.

In the majority of the relationships it is mutual growth on a personal and professional basis. We set expectations for our mentoring relationship and then begin the journey together. We check in every so often to make sure that each of us is getting value from our time together.

We all need to embrace the “Gift of Mentoring” and experience a deeper, richer mentoring experience that will help us personally and professionally.

Q: How can we ask questions to our mentor?

A: To answer your question you need to think what am I searching an answer for? Is it something to do with your personal growth or something to do with your professional growth? I would be asking you what is it that you wish to accomplish that has now become a question that you do not have the answer for.

When you begin the mentoring relationship you need to outline the expectations of that relationship. One of the topics may be how do we communicate (ask questions) of each other in a respectful manner.

When I work with people there is lots of dialogue back and forth until we reach a point where I need to listen rather than talk. Sometimes that is to allow the person I am in a mentoring relationship with to ask questions and other times it is to just listen.

If you are unsure still please feel free to reach out to me and we can set up a time to discuss.

Q: What does a mentor want from you?

A: What I hope for is a person that is committed to the mentoring process. They are ready to grow personally and professionally and are willing to do the heavy lifting in the mentoring relationship. They will be accountable for the outcomes whatever they may be. They understand and accept that I am there to guide - not tell them what to do.

Q: Can you have a mentor that you have never met?

A: You most definitely can. When I look at the people I am working with in a mentor partnership the majority I had never met before. They were introduced to me through referral or via my website and then the scheduling of a time to chat. I have had some mentors that I had known before and they became my mentor as they were able to provide guidance in an area that I needed guidance.(technology, finance)

It is important to note that if you have not met before then take the time to build a solid mentoring partnership. I break a mentoring partnership down into three (3) categories. They are; trusting phase, learning and development phase and the maintenance phase. In this case I recommend some extra time in the “trusting phase” in order to get to know your mentor.

International Mentoring Community - Talentc - Doug Lawrence

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the course of the last 12 months or so I have been working on taking my calling – “the gift of mentoring” to a higher level. I wanted to create that deeper, richer mentoring experience for those that I touched through mentoring. I wanted to share that gift globally and invite others to join me on this exciting journey.

I partnered with the International Mentoring Community and together we have created the Certification of Achievement – Mentoring and the Certification of Competence – Mentor.  I recently completed both programs and I am pleased to announce that I have received my Certificate of Achievement – Mentoring (June 2018) and my Certificate of Competence – Mentor (December 2018). I am now Certified Competent as a Mentor following the competence verification process within the Mentor Certification Process.

The Mentor Certification Process is framed by “68 Action_Outcome Statements.” These statements highlight a series of actions and outcomes used to confirm competence of a mentor and/or guide development-implementation-evaluation of a workplace mentoring program.

These Action_Outcome Statements were written after an extensive review by the International Mentoring Community. This review was completed within the parameters of ISO Regulation 17001.

My journey continues to evolve as I work with so many marvelous people to help them grow on a personal and professional basis. I am honored to bring mentoring to organizations and to work with their employees to help them become more productive and engaged in their organization.

I am here to be of service whether in the capacity as a mentor one on one, implementing workplace mentoring, providing our new mentoring vs termination service or providing insight and guidance regarding the certification process to people and organizations.

 

To learn more about the International Mentoring Community and The Mentor Certification Process and how it will benefit you, your employees, and your organization, feel free to book a complimentary 30-minute Mentoring Consultation (via call or video)  >>  https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL MENTORING COMMUNITY: What is it and How Can You Benefit from It?TalentC is wholeheartedly involved in the International Mentoring Community, which sets the standards and verification system (Certification) to produce competent mentors.

 

 

 

What is the International Mentoring Community?

Before jumping into what the International Mentoring Community is, we must first define what each term means separately. We do this because “mentoring” has been thrown around to mean different things when its true meaning is as follows:

Mentoring is defined as a two way trusted relationship where the mentor and mentee learn and grow together on a personal and professional basis as the mentee draws appropriate ideas and insights, and tools and techniques from the lived experience of the mentor.

Community is defined as a group of people having a particular characteristic in common. A community helps prepare people for challenges that lie ahead. There is a feeling of fellowship as a result of common attitudes, interests, and goals.

The International Mentoring Community is the premier mentor community to learn about the advantages and benefits of mentorship, mentoring, serving as a mentor, and becoming a mentee. It offers resources and tools to identify the ROI to support the implementation of a customized workplace mentoring program. Of particular importance in the fast paced work places of today, mentoring is a way to reduce employee turnover costs association with termination and resignation.

The International Mentoring Community offers certification about mentorship concepts, experiences, and the practices of serving as a mentor.

What is the Mentor Certification Process?

 

The Mentor Certification Process provides mentors and mentees with a deeper, richer experience.

The Mentor Certification Process is framed by “68 Action_Outcome Statements.” These statements highlight a series of actions and outcomes used to confirm competence of a mentor and/or implementation-evaluation of a workplace mentoring program.

These Action_Outcome Statements were written after an extensive review by the International Mentoring Community. This review was completed within the parameters of ISO Regulation 17001.

The 68 Action_Outcome Statements
are split into 7 Mentor Certification Modules and identifies:

  1. About Mentor
  2. Mentor Characteristics
  3. Mentoring Arrangement
  4. Support Mentee
  5. Mentoring Tools and Techniques
  6. Mentoring Education and Learning
  7. Certification

The International Mentoring Community guides:

The International Mentoring Community offers managers, leaders and employees access to the Mentor Certification Process, which creates a movement that follows the Mentoring Blueprint: Guides you to manage a mentoring platform, programs, and movement, inform Move-Forward actions for mentors and mentees, nurture collaborative conversations among those involved, improve application of organizational knowledge shared by mentors and mentees, strengthen organizational productivity through actions taken by mentors and mentees.

 

 

 

To learn more about the International Mentoring Community and The Mentor Certification Process and how it will benefit you, your employees, and your organization, feel free to book a complimentary 20-minute Mentoring Consultation (via call or video)  >>  https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence

 

 

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 impacting 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 is 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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