By Ruth Simeon, M.A., SPHR
There may be an excellent program available in your workplace, but you may not get chosen, meet the selection criteria, or otherwise find yourself on a lengthy waiting list. For others, there may be no program, or the one that is in place may not suit your needs. Sometimes programs fall by the wayside before you can participate. Unfortunately, too many programs lack staying power, especially if the primary driver of the initiative leaves or the program gets de-funded because priorities have changed that's where this next form of mentoring can be of value by learning to do-it-yourself.
Our experience says that many people who could benefit from mentorship do not become involved because of old myths or because they lack a strategy to successfully start and sustain a mentorship partnership. Namely, they don't know how to select, choose, and work with someone who could enrich their professional lives. For such individuals, my hope is that these blogs will open the door to mentorship. Whether you are part of an informal mentoring relationship or a formal program, the option to get mentored or be a mentor is always open to you. Having knowledge about the process and knowing how to get the process started will make it much easier and increase the likelihood that mentoring will become a part of your lifelong learning and development strategy.
This is where the idea of self-managed mentoring comes into play. With self-managed mentoring, you are in the driver's seat, whether you are a mentee or a mentor. You get to determine when and with whom you will set up a mentoring partnership. This is true also if you are self-employed, an entrepreneur, consultant, health-care professional, teacher, homemaker, etc. Learning is always at your disposal by tapping into the wisdom and expertise of a co-worker, next-door neighbor, family member, and a wide circle of other people in your life.
With this blog as a starter and other resources, i.e. The Mentoring Bridge: A Self-Management Guide to Informal Mentoring Partnerships (Boags, Simeon 2010), any individual can empower him- or herself to select, choose, and work with a mentor or mentee. There are some fundamental principles and keys to making that venture a success, and the reader will learn more of the fundamental step-by-step process in the mentioned guidebook.
With the addition of self-managed mentoring, an employer can provide a broader range of coverage for those who wish to be mentored. This form of mentoring is both a complement and a supplement to informal and formal mentoring programs currently being offered in the workplace.
For more information contact Ruth Simeon, Principal Consultant, ©Improvement Technologies at 323-823-8528 or see some of our tools and processes at MentoringAnalysis.com. Not to be reprinted without permission from the author. . Excerpts from Mentorship: A Pathway to Career Success, ©2008