What is mentoring?
When two or more people intentionally join in a relationship and communicate regularly in order to share personal and professional experiences, offer encouragement, counsel, and pray for one another.
Mentoring is based on helpful questioning, constructive comments, openness, mutual trust, respect, and a willingness to share and learn.
Why is mentoring important?
“91% of leaders with a coach or mentor stated that the experience was moderately or greatly beneficial to their careers.” --- Development Dimensions International
In the Partners Worldwide context, mentoring affirms and equips businesspeople in their Christian calling to expand kingdom-minded businesses that create sustainable jobs and have a positive impact on their community. It helps them to know they are not on this journey alone.
Mentors can provide business people with a fresh perspective, by serving as a sounding board for ideas, helping to set goals, and striving toward accountability in achieving those goals. Additionally, mentors may sometimes provide hard skills training and networking.
For mentors, it provides the opportunity to share expertise, develop new friendships, discover a renewed sense of joy and purpose, and create a legacy.
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 27:17 NLT
Keys to successful mentoring relationships
- Establish Focus and Clear Expectations
- Discuss short-term and long-term goals for the mentoring relationship
- Promote Discovery
- Ask open-ended questions, and paraphrase to show you understand
- Ask permission before sharing personal experiences or expressing opinions
- Determine Action Plans
- Work together to establish goals using the acronym SMART: Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound
- Remove Barriers and Empower
- Identify potential obstacles and work toward creative solutions
Common Mentoring Pitfalls
- Talking too much (mentors)
- Not speaking up enough (mentees)
- Neglecting to communicate
- Relying too much on email
- Interpreting questions as criticism
- Not setting clear goals
- Focusing on the business instead of the business owner
- Not providing positive feedback
- Thinking you have all the answers (mentors)
- Thinking the mentor will provide all the answers (mentees)
Want to go deeper?
- Check out the Partners Worldwide Mentoring Handbook
- Demystifying Mentoring, an article from the Harvard Business Review
- Mentoring Versus Coaching: What’s the Difference? from the Association for Talent Development
- Check out these two wonderful books that we recommend wholeheartedly:
- Coaching Based Ministry: Tim Cosby & Mike McGervey
- The Art of Virtue-Based Transformational Leadership: Jim Louwsma & Mark McCloskey
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.