1. Develop a coherence of mentoring practice within your organization. Whether it is informal or formal mentoring, group or individual mentoring, on site or virtual mentoring, clarify and agree on a robust definition. Communicate and reinforce that definition so it cascades down into the organization. No matter what form mentoring takes in your organization, it is your definition of mentoring that will ultimately guide its success. 

2. Encourage mentoring partners to explore their assumptions about mentoring. This is especially important at the beginning of a mentoring relationship when mentors and mentees discuss their past mentoring experiences and how they are similar or different, what has worked for them in the past, and how those similarities and differences might play out in their current relationship.

3. Acknowledge the uniqueness of each participant and relationship. We all bring who we are to what we do. The individuals that enter into a mentoring relationship are each unique and therefore each and every partnership is unique. Each partnership needs to make mentoring work for them.  A mentoring relationship is a work in progress.

4. Provide multiple mentoring opportunities in your organization. New configurations of mentoring continue to emerge, i.e., mosaic mentoring; flash mentoring, quad mentoring, along with the demand for mentoring. Be open to DIY (do it yourself) mentoring.

Fifty Shades 

While mentoringrelationships vary by the nature of the diversity of the individuals engaged in them, there must be coherence of practice within each organization. Coherence of mentoring practice projects a standard and expectation to which everyone within your organization can aspire. A clear definition of mentoring provides the benchmarks for measuring your success.

Suddenly, the sky turned from pitch black to fifty shades of grey.

 

This is part 2 of a blogpost from Lois Zachary and written in the blog “Center for mentoring excellence” (called Fifty Shades of Mentoring and 4 Ways to Succeed)and she is the President of Leadership Development Services, LLC. and an international expert on mentoring and leadership development. She has written several books on mentoring. The newest one is The Mentor’s Guide: Facilitating Effective Learning Relationships .

Other books include Creating a Mentoring Culture: The Organization’s Guide, and The Mentee’s Guide: Making Mentoring Work for You.

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