How to Start a Mentoring Program
In my blog on the book Modern Mentoring, we’ve explored the concept of modern mentoring and the preliminary steps for a successful implementation of the program (e.g., how to gain buy-in and expose leaders). We talked about the various benefits of the program, the various approaches to “land and expand” the program, and ideas for attaching the concept to existing programs.
So once all this is done and achieved, does modern mentoring just take off and gain immediate success in the workplace? Are learners and advisors innately inclined to be candid and share best practices in an intimate or virtual environment?
The answer to that is certainly yes, provided there is trust. The most critical element for a successful modern mentoring culture is to cultivate an environment built on trust. Randy Emelo, author of Modern Mentoring, identifies the core principles of trust as: competence, integrity, and caring.
Trust-Based Mentoring Relationships
Competence: This is the ability for employees to demonstrate aptitude in their area of expertise, but also a capacity to collaborate and share with others. It is critical to understand that competence is displayed when one is able to share best practices and past experiences for the growth and benefits of others.
Integrity: Simplistically, integrity is demonstrated by one following through on their commitments and obligations. Demonstrating consistency through one’s actions and commitment to their values exemplifies integrity.
Caring: Caring is more than acknowledging someone’s birthday or simply being kind and courteous. Caring is demonstrated by showing genuine concern for others. In a modern mentoring culture, this is exhibited by demonstrating genuine concern for the developmental needs of others (both learners and advisors) and the commitment to those needs.
Competency, integrity, and caring are deeply rooted in fostering a trust-based modern mentoring culture. These core principles set the climate for how participants of modern mentoring will engage with others and the depth of exchange they will have with one another. For modern mentoring to go beneath the surface of basic dialogue and minimal sharing, these values and principles must be present for deep knowledge sharing and development.
Editor’s Note: A version of this blog entry first appeared on Adriane Gonzalez’s blog about Modern Mentoring. It has been reprinted here with permission from the author.