Thursday, April 22, 2010

5 Benefits to Mentoring

Mentoring continues to be a popular informal learning approach to enhance internal learning, knowledge and skills transfer, across industries.

Earlier this year I spoke about how Mentoring is an Essential Component to any Talent Management Strategy to the HRPA Annual Conference. The next week I was in Senegal, West Africa, working with an incredibly talented group of professionals in delivering a Coaching and Mentoring Skills Train the Trainer program. Last month, I was involved in running the third year of training for mentors (and this year for the first time, proteges) for a financial services organization.

So why mentoring? What is mentoring re-gaining popularity?

Here are five benefits to mentoring:

1. Helps to Build institutional or industry knowledge - Mentoring is an essential strategy to building organizational knowledge, as well as industry capability. A critical type of informal learning, mentoring can help to share the unwritten knowledge that exists.

2. Mentors Share real How-tos - From how to navigate amongst the realities of an organization to the practicalities and the politics, mentors can help less experienced employees understand how an organization operates, and how to navigate.

3. Enable more junior staff to hear about organizational/industry realities from someone who is not their boss or their peer. Mentors often share insights about what the real opportunities and roadblocks are in an industry or organization.

4. Provide a place for more junior staff to ask questions they might not otherwise surface. Sometimes employees are hesitant to take their questions to their manager for fear of performance reprisal or other factors. Being more removed, mentors are often seen as a more unbiased source.

5. Mentors can act as a sounding board. Given a mentor's greater level of experience, the mentoring relationship can be a place where a mentee uses the mentor as a sounding board.

Whether a mentee brings 1 year experience or 2 decades, we can all benefit from a mentoring relationship with someone in our organization or industry. Who would you like to have as a mentor?

Have a great week!
Warm regards,

Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching
Phone: (416) 996-TEAM (8326)
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

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