More often than not, it is a situation that does not meet our expectations that teaches us what we want and need; so it was for me and my introduction to mentoring. I expected mentoring to be rather like school tutoring: I would have a learning need, and my mentor would supply me with the necessary knowledge. What I found was much more complex – a give and take that has benefits for both the mentor and the protégé. Peggy Vasquez, author of Not Just an Admin, describes it this way: “You’re not there to solve each other’s’ problems. You’re going to listen and collaborate and help each other discover your own solutions.”
When I first joined Toastmasters International in 2008, I was assigned a mentor from among the more experienced club members. As a “late bloomer” professionally, I had long struggled with many of the activities I was told would contribute to my career advancement: for instance, I knew that “getting a mentor” was important, but just how to find a mentor remained a mystery to me. When I found out I had been assigned a Toastmasters mentor, I was eager to jump right in!
Unfortunately, although my assigned mentor was considerate and encouraging, he was not a good match for my energy and drive. Whereas I was ready to meet from day one, to get guidance on meeting roles I was taking on and start planning my first speech, my mentor was distracted and hard to reach. Even after I initiated contact, he remained inaccessible, and had little to offer way of feedback or a plan for progress. After about two months of getting nowhere, I decided to request a new mentor, and I’m so glad that I did, because it led me to new relationships and opportunities I could never have imagined when first I set out on this road.
Co-Mentoring Quickstart Guide Overview
I created MentorsAndMasterminds.com to help make it easier for administrative professionals to find the mentoring we need to advance our careers and help elevate our profession. Now, I’m thrilled to introduce the Co-Mentoring Quickstart Guide as a map to forming productive professional mentoring relationships with the people you will meet there!
In the section titled Getting to Know You, I cover how to create a professional profile helps you to attract the best potential co-mentors to help with your professional goals. Once you have connected with a prospective mentor, it’s important that you get to know each other a on a more personal level, and critically examine your respective goals to see if there is a good fit. If the answer is yes, then you will want to agree upon objectives for the relationship, and define how you will work together. The section Roles and Responsibilities covers both roles and commitments of the mentoring partners, and addresses the memorialization of these commitments in a written agreement. In Following Through, we look at strategies you can use to ensure you get the most out of your partnership, and deliver the same to your co-mentor in return. Finally, the Appendix contains tools and resources you can use to put your mentoring plan into action.
Best of all, the Co-Mentoring Quickstart Guide is my gift to you when you claim your FREE membership at MentorsAndMasterminds.com!
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