Why should our organization invest in mentoring training? Don’t most people just naturally know how to do it?
The fact of the matter is that most people are either unprepared or underprepared for their mentoring roles. Mentoring training builds more confident and competent mentors and mentees. It promotes participant readiness, creates a standard of mentoring practice, provides guidelines for ensuring mentoring success and offers a safe climate of support.
Senior leaders in our organization are excused from training. Are we missing the boat?
Yes you are. Mentoring is a leadership competency and that means even veteran mentors can grow in the role and become better at the work of mentoring. It is not uncommon to hear comments like, “I am not sure what I am doing here. I’ve mentored people all my life,” or, “I’m showing up because I was told to… not sure there is anything new under the sun on this topic.” When leaders show up for mentoring it sends a clear message about the value of mentoring and mentoring training that cascades down into the organization. It also enhances the quality of the mentoring experience for everyone gathered in the training room. Programs morph over time and your mentoring program may have changed from when it first began. You will want to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to mentoring. Mentoring training is just the ticket.
What kind of mentoring training is best?
Your mentoring education “menu” should include an array of training opportunities. You will want to consider providing training opportunities for those engaged in formal as well as informal mentoring. Provide options for meeting diverse learning needs at multiple levels and entry points, whether acquiring basic mentoring information and concepts, mentoring relationship preparation, mentoring skill competency, advanced mentoring, and renewal opportunities.
What approach should we take to creating an action agenda for our mentoring training?
There are many innovative practice models and ideas for delivering mentoring education and training, including some very novel approaches. Some organizations adopt an annual thematic approach (usually linked to organizational priorities) to keep mentoring education and training fresh. Some offer introductory, mid-level and advance mentoring courses on a rotating or cyclical basis. Others have certain basic requirements for core courses and electives and award CEUs (continuing education units) or mentoring certificates for fulfilling these requirements.