Recently I attended a networking event, Dream Girl Atlanta, where a panel of successful women shared their stories. During the Q&A a discussion occurred about mentoring. The consensus was mentoring was a valuable resource that can help grown a career.
However, many women who would be wonderful mentors, shy away from the time commitment. Others who have not been mentored and have no role models struggle with boundaries and expectations.
There are many, many ways we can build these quasi formal relationships that become wins for both mentor and mentee here are five ideas. As in any business relationship that goes beyond one coffee chat set expectations in terms of time and deliverables.
If you find the mentoring relationship slipping beyond the scope of your agreement Stop. Communicate. Renegotiate
- Function. Nancy Chorpenning, C-Suite Advisors, suggests short-term, as needed, mentoring that focuses on a specific topic. For example you might need support in a finance analysis or developing management processes that helps you get to the next level. Once you understand the concepts the ‘mentoring’ ends.
- Exchange. Build a mentor relationship that is reciprocal. Identify a person who has a different background than yours who might value and need your expertise and where you can benefit from hers.
- Traditional. This type of mentorship usually begins where the mentor is in a position that is senior to the mentee. Frequently both people are in the same industry or company. But often interesting learnings come from people who work in different industries or departments.
- Peer-to-Peer. I like to call this one learning together. Similar to the Exchange relationship peer-to-peer is often a seesaw ride where the mentor roles swing back and forth based on need.
- Junior-to-Senior. The opposite of Traditional, in this relationship the mentor holds a junior level position to the mentee’s more senior role. This type of relationship is frequently used to help executives understand technology.
Love to hear about your mentor-mentee relationships and structures.