Many names have been used to describe mentorship and these include:
helping, coaching, tutoring, counselling, sponsoring, role modelling, befriending, direction setting, progress chasing, sharing experience, widening horizons, building resilience, showing ropes, informal apprenticeships, providing openings, etc.
But what is mentorship really about? Mentoring Is:
b) Mentee owned and directed
- The mentor and mentee must both want to learn and grow through the process.
- Both must accept that the relationship should end in a positive way if it is unproductive
- Both must know that participation may have no direct rewards and that career advancement is not guaranteed.
- The mentee takes responsibility for driving self-development, only relying on the mentor for guidance and expertise.
- The mentor facilitates but does not lead or set the direction.
- Both accept that mentoring is not a solution for incompetence or skills gaps.
- The mentee must set goals in order to focus the mentoring process.
- The mentor may influence the goal setting process but must accept the outcome.
- Mentoring can address personal issues.
- Mentoring should not be seen as performance appraisal.
- Mentoring seeks to develop and build human resources.
Mentoring allows the mentors to serve as a role model and counselor who provide opportunities for professional development, growth and support to less experience Ibtikaar incubator individuals. A mentor may give information, encouragement and advice to individuals as they plan and grow their businesses.
The mentor is typically a person of greater experience and supports and facilitates the mentee to reach their potential.
By signing the mentoring agreement and code of conduct below the Mentee agrees to:
- take the initiative and responsibility to develop themselves;
- articulate clear and specific developmental goals and communicate them to their mentor;
- suggest ways their mentor can help, but be willing to accept what the mentor is able and willing to offer;
- be willing to embrace new ideas, to learn and try new things;
- be sensitive to the mentor’s time constraints; keep appointments with and commitments to their mentor;
- commit to self-development and invest time and effort to increase their knowledge and competence;
- accept feedback graciously and make efforts to implement changes that will help achieve goals;
- be willing to take risks, balanced with sensitivity ,to firm values and culture;
- balance enthusiasm and self-confidence with humility – be willing to make mistakes and learn from them;
- avoid being overly dependent on mentor and to seek guidance from other sources as well;
- seek their mentor’s input on specific projects;
- not seek perfection as the mentor is a colleague and not a professional coach;
- ask for advice rather than ask for help and allow their mentor to volunteer assistance and guidance;
- respect confidentiality;
- demonstrate a willingness to expand their own network;
- have a strong desire to grow within the organization;
- communicate problems or issues clearly and on a timely basis and level with their mentor;
- openly discuss failures as well as successes;
- be honest and candid in all dealings with mentor.
By signing the mentoring agreement and code of conduct below the Mentor agrees to:
- Approach the mentee as a “friend” rather than teacher, and define their role as supporting the entrepreneur in a variety of ways;
- Actively listen to the mentee
- Make great efforts to be consistent and dependable;
- Accept that the relationship may become one-sided and ensure that it continues. Entrepreneurs, especially young ones, may test the mentor’s ability to assist and so the mentor must regularly initiate contact and ensure that meetings are scheduled, rather than waiting to hear from the mentee;
- Involve the mentee in setting the agenda and while mentees may be reticent about expressing what they want to do, successful mentors take the time to learn about their interests and in providing them with options;
- Understand that balance is needed between business and leisure and may suggest less formal interactions (e.g. attend a business breakfast/seminar etc).
Code of Conduct
Both the mentor and mentee agree to:
- Keep confidential personal and business information about each others business and personal life;
- Romantic relationships should be avoided or declared immediately to Ibtikaar and meetings generally be held in public places,
- Should the mentor invest in the business or join the management or be paid to undertake consulting or other work both the mentor and mentee will inform Ibtikaar immediately. This sort of activity is not wrong, but once it occurs the mentor is no longer a mentor but involved in the business in another way and as a result the mentoring relationship ceases.
- Communicate and meet regularly
- Keep commitments made to each other.
- Be persistent yet flexible in developing the relationship
- Address and resolve problems as soon as they arise.
- Let Ibtikaar know as soon as problems arise or are anticipated
- To participate in Ibtikaar monitoring on the mentoring relationship, knowing Ibtikaar will be using the form attached and that all information will be kept confidential within Ibtikaar and that only nominated staff in Ibtiikaar will have access to this data.
- Inform Ibtikaar if additional resources or help is required
- If it is necessary to seek additional help, beyond what Ibtikaar can offer, from other people or organizations, then the Mentor will obtain permission from the Mentee, before such action is taken, or where confidential information may need to be divulged.
- Give Ibtikaar public recognition for its contributionThe Ibtikaar Incubator Manager responsible for monitoring mentoring will use the following form in contact with both mentors and mentees after each mentoring session, or on another regular basis, asking each question to the mentor and mentee, separately.