A great concept at toastmasters. I was all fired by it, until I thought let me see what actually is the onus of mentoring.

The dictionary calls Mentor (capitalized) as a friend of Odysseus, entrusted with the education of Odysseus son Telemachus, it has come to mean a trusted counsellor or guide, a tutor, coach whatever.

But did mentoring entail?

Somehow checking the grammar or seeing if the format is right somehow did not make much sense. When in doubt always, delegate/defer or in this case consult.

I actually enquired of Mr.ChendilKumar a senior toastmaster what would I need to do as a mentor. He said, get their goals first, and then help them discover their strengths.

Mentoring is not about getting that next wrung or out of obstacles, but helping you to navigate through the obstacles. That put my coach at the Landmark Forum in a new perspective.

There would be challenges too, sometimes of failure, sometimes of success, lack of confidence so many things. That I thought was pretty interesting.

Co-incidentally the growth of the mentee is also the growth of the mentor. So accountability is there on both sides.

When it comes to formal mentoring,Image

  • Clear delineation of goals and expectations for mentors and protegee.
  • Careful selection of pairing of mentors and protegee, (though the believer in believes that people appear in our space with a purpose. A random mentor is there for a specific purpose.)
  • Both mentors and protégée are held accountable for relationship success.
  • Recognition of mentors who make a difference.
  • A timeline with a beginning, middle and end so that the participants can end the relationship gracefully if it does not work.

Mentoring relationships.

  • Protegee driven protegee should define their development needs and make sure they are addressed.
  • Clear learning based goals
  • Realistic expectation for the protegee so that they understand that a mentor does not guarantee career advancement.
  • Confidentiality.
  • Dedicated time and an agenda. Recommended is one hour a week meet. The protegee should have a clear agenda. For the meet.

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