What is Mentoring?
Mentoring is a developmental partnership through which one person shares knowledge, skills information and perspective to foster the personal and professional growth of someone else. (USC CMIS Alumni Society Mentoring Program Handbook, http://cmcismentorprogram.wordpress.com/mentoring-program-manual/definition-of-mentoring/).
A mentor facilitates personal and professional growth in an individual by sharing the knowledge and insights that have been learned through the years. The mentoring process links an experienced person (mentor) with a less experienced person (mentee) to help foster the career development and professional growth of the mentee. The process requires that the mentor and mentee work together to reach specific goals while providing each other with sufficient feedback to ensure that the goals are reached. It is a process by which you open a passageway to knowledge by sharing ideas and information. (DOT Mentoring Handbook, p2, http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/mentor/mentorhb.htm)
Benefits to mentoring
We all have a need for insight that is outside of our normal work life and educational experience. The power of mentoring is that it creates a one-of-a-kind opportunity for collaboration, goal achievement and problem-solving.
- Seventy-five percent of executives point to mentoring as playing a key role in their careers (Benefits of Mentoring, a Triple Creek Associates Study, http://www.3creek.com/booklets/BenefitsBooklet.pd)
- Mentoring statistics show that professionals who have used a mentor, earn between $5,600 – $22,45 more annually, than those who didn’t use a mentor (Financial Inspiration Café, Mentoring Statistics, http://www.financial-inspiration.com/mentoring-statistics.html)
Types of Mentoring Relationships
Roles of a Mentor may include some or all of the following:
- Teacher: Mentor sharing knowledge and experiences with mentee
- Counselor: Establishing an open and trusting relationship with the mentee
- Motivator: Providing the mentee with encouragement and support
- Sponsor: Helping the mentee create opportunities that may not otherwise be available
- Coach: Listening and providing feedback to the mentee
- Advisor: Helping the mentee develop professional interests and establish realistic goals
- Role Model: Living by example regarding values, ethics, and professional practices. Mentees look up to their mentors.
- Door Opener: In some cases, having the ability to introduce your mentees to contacts to help build the his/her own network structure
Roles of a Mentee may include some or all of the following:
- Learner: Having a strong desire to learn new skills and abilities
- Decision maker: Desire to take charge of your life (education, career, etc.)
- Initiator: Having a willingness to explore challenges on your own initiative
- Risk taker: Willing to take risks in order to increase your success rate
- Goal setter: Willingness to set realistic goals in relation to your professional interests
Oftentimes organizations employ a single person who is responsible for the development and success of a testing program. If you are this person, to whom do you reach out for information when posed with questions you do not have the answer to?
- A mentor would be just the person to contact for support. Perhaps you have a proposed solution and would like to discuss the pros and cons of your idea. Maybe the mentor has been in this situation before and can discuss his or her decision and the outcomes, and what he or she would do differently.
You may have been given a role or task that you have never been responsible for in your career – for example, you are now responsible for reporting to your certification board and feel you are lacking in the skills set required for success. As a highly visible, important position, you need some assistance.
- A mentor would be ideal in this situation. A mentor with a variety of experience interacting with different boards on different levels would be able to assist you with your presentation skills, level of professionalism, and what you need to function as a pro walking into your first board meeting.
There are a number of reasons why mentoring relationships are beneficial to all levels of certification/testing professionals. SIGN UP TODAY as a mentor or mentee and see what you can offer!