Tips to Have an Effective Mentoring Relationship

When entering into a mentoring relationship you should have clear expectations whether you are the mentor or the mentee. Here are 7 tips to help ensure that you have a successful mentoring relationship. They are:

1. Before entering into a mentoring relationship, perform a self-assessment in terms of your individual strengths and weaknesses in order to help you maximize the relationship.

2. If you are the mentee, determine your individual goals and objectives before beginning to formally meet with your mentor.

3. Determine how much time you can commit to the mentoring relationship i.e. three face to face meetings in a six month period and three phone calls. Stick to that schedule.

4. When meetings are scheduled, come prepared with specific agenda items to discuss and keep notes of what transpired during the meeting. Keeping notes can help you to track your progress towards your goals.

5. At each meeting, review the progress/status of your goals that you initially established if you are the mentee to determine how much progress you’ve made. Keeping track helps you to determine what further actions are required.

6. Throughout the mentoring relationship keep a “success journal.” Keep track of the success that you are making as you progress towards your goals.

7. At the end of the mentorship period, review your overall progress towards the goals that you set at the beginning of the relationship. Once the formal mentoring relationship ends, ideally both the mentor and the mentee should give each other feedback. By delivering feedback to each other, you can determine the overall success of goals achieved. In recognition of both of your efforts celebrate the achievement of the goals and the success that you both have achieved.

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Have you ever wondered what is takes to be an outstanding public speaker?  A speaker who can get your message across powerfully and who can command an audience’s attention? Well now you can learn from a champion speaker!

Learn from the 2015 Speech Contest Champion Ande Clumpus as he prepares to compete in the World Championship of Public Speaking. Ande will compete on behalf of Toastmasters International’s District 60.

This event will also showcase some of the best speakers and evaluators from District 60 Toastmasters including: Deborah Austin, Ron Tsang, Stephen Grant and Ted Lyberogiannis.

Date: July 8, 2015
Time: 17:30-20:00
Event: Champion Speaker Event - District 60 Speakers Bureau
Sponsor: District 60 Speakers Bureau
Venue: RBC Waterpark Place
Public: Private
Date: July 16, 2015
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event: VP of Public Relations Training
Topic: Public Relations
Sponsor: Toastmasters International Club Officer Training
Location: 55 Bloor Street West
Toronto, Ontario
Canada
Public: Private

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

Winston Churchill – British Prime Minister of the UK (1940 to 1945) and (1951 to 1955)

Trainer for District 60 Toastmasters Club Presidents Training at 1 University Avenue, 16th Floor.

Date: June 16, 2015
Time: 6:00 - 7:30 pm
Event: Presidents Training for Toastmasters International
Topic: Club Officer (Presidents) Training
Sponsor: Toastmasters International - District 60
Public: Private

The Power of Mentoring

Mentors are incredibly powerful. A mentor is an experienced person with an area of expertise who provides support, constructive feedback and encouragement to an individual usually with less experience in a specific area. The purpose could be for career advancement, personal growth and skill development. It is a true gift when mentors generously share their knowledge and expertise with you.

The individual to whom the mentor provides support to is called the mentee. A mentor provides to the mentee: advice, expertise in a specialized area, support, encouragement, and practical strategies to achieve goals. Mentors also receive benefits through personal growth and developing their leadership and communication skills.

I’ve been blessed to have several mentors in my life. As a speaker, I’ve had mentors who have helped me to develop professional level platform speaking skills. In turn, I’ve helped to mentor and coach several people throughout my life. It’s very rewarding to be a mentor to help another person develop personally and professionally.

As a leader, you will be called upon or you might decide to offer your expertise, experience, knowledge and skills to assist another person in their development.

There are various types of mentorship formats available including: formal, informal, and peer mentoring. Below are some good rules of practice that can help guide and encourage you to have a successful mentoring relationship, whether you are the mentor or mentee. They are:

1. Respect
Being mutually respectful in terms of behaviour, words and attitude helps to consolidate goodwill in the mentoring relationship. Mentees want to develop their communication and leadership skills in an environment that is positive, supportive, and respectful. Likewise, mentors want to be respected for their expertise and knowledge.

2.Commitment
Mentors function as a support system and it’s very important that both the mentor and mentee follow through on their individual commitments. For example, if contact between the mentor and mentee is to occur every week by phone or email, both parties should ensure that commitment occurs.

3. Establish Regular Contact
As a mentee, ensure that you are in regular contact with your mentor. Establish regular times that you will speak or meet with each other. Regular meetings could occur through email, telephone or in person. From the start establish a routine. As mentors typically have busy schedules, sometimes the mentee may have to be the one to reach out more frequently. Likewise, mentors should check in with their mentees periodically.

4. Patience
The old adage that “patience is a virtue” rings true especially in a mentoring relationship. It would be wise if both individuals learn to have patience with each other. This is especially true in the beginning stages, when the mentor and mentee are getting to know each other and setting goals.

5. Empathy and Compassion
As human beings, we do the best that we can on any given day. Our backgrounds, standards, beliefs and opinions will be different from one another. Through empathy and compassion, we can learn to respect each other and celebrate our differences.

6. Learn About Strengths and Areas for Improvement
The mentor and the mentee each bring strengths and areas for improvement to the relationship. Focus on what each person does well and capitalize on those strengths. On the other hand, realize that each person has areas that are in need of improvement. Pay attention to those areas and work on improving them. Learn to work together to develop a realistic plan for improvements over time.

7. Trust
In order to build trust and rapport, matters discussed within the mentoring relationship should remain confidential between the parties.

8. Honest and Constructive Feedback
In order to improve communication skills, leadership skills or any other skill the mentor must be willing to give honest, open, fair and constructive feedback to the mentee. If you “sugar coat” your feedback, your mentee will not improve their communication and leadership skills. If you are too harsh in your feedback, it could damage a person’s self esteem. Always leave the mentee something positive to take away from your interaction. Delivering specific feedback with examples of what was done well and what could be improved will help the mentee to improve and reach their goals.

9. Productivity
We live in a time where everyone is busy juggling multiple commitments. Time is precious and no one likes to waste their time. When you’re in a mentoring relationship, ensure that productive meetings occur. For that to happen, have clear agenda items that will be discussed during your meetings to ensure maximum productivity.

10. Set Goals
At the beginning of the mentorship relationship meet regularly to set clear and achievable goals. Throughout the mentoring period, both the mentee and the mentor should monitor those goals. Keep track of goals by documenting or writing them down so that progress towards goals can be measured.

Mentoring is an experience that is ultimately rewarding. It’s an experience where people come together to grow and inspire each to develop a skill or ability and to strive for excellence.

What about you? How have the mentors in your life impacted you? Take the time to thank those who have helped you to develop a skill or an ability by generously sharing their expertise, knowledge, connections and advice with you. It’s a gift when someone graciously takes you under their tutelage to help you learn and grow.

On the other hand, have you thought about becoming a mentor? Each of us has gifts, skills, abilities and talents that we can use to help other people reach their goals. When you become a mentor, you just might change someone’s life! We want to hear from you. Share an experience about the impact of mentors in your life or your experience as a mentor.

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