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Mentoring and Human Resources Management

Mentoring for the Future
Organizations should always think about the recruitment of new members to assure that the work of the group will carry on through new leaders. Succession planning and mentoring should be a part of an organizational plan to insure leadership activities will be carried out effectively and efficiently through new leaders.

Mentoring is described as a formal or informal pairing of two people, one with more knowledge and experience than the other, with the purpose of having the less knowledgeable person grow and develop as an effective board member.

Reflect on a time in your life you may have had a mentor – someone who encouraged you, showed you the ropes and helped you become who you are today. It may have been a teacher, friend, neighbor, relative, coach or boss.

  • What was their first name and occupation?
  • Was it a formal or informal mentoring situation?
  • Describe the characteristics of this person that enabled them to be a good mentor?
  • How did this individual help you?

Many of us have had effective mentors in our lives and for the health of your organization, it is critical to think about how to effectively mentor those that will be our successors. There are many reasons to mentor someone to take your place on a board:

  • You'll learn. By serving as a mentor, you'll learn from your mentee. They'll have knowledge you don't have, maybe teach you a new job-specific skill, and help you enhance your people-development skills, which you can use with your organization and even your family and friends. In the process, you'll also learn more about yourself.
  • This is a chance to pay back. In the past, you may have received good mentoring from someone and never had a chance to show your gratitude to him or her directly. You now have an opportunity to reciprocate and "put something back into the pot."
  • You could receive recognition from peers and superiors. Being an effective people developer won't go unrecognized.
  • You may get some extra work done! Remember how you paid your dues by doing routine tasks for a mentor?
  • You'll review and validate what you know and what you've accomplished. Teaching another helps you review and reframe all you've learned about that particular board, council or committee. You may realize that you've accomplished much more than you thought.
  • You'll probably feel satisfied, proud, and other energizing emotions. When you have a positive effect on a mentee, expect several positive feelings of pride, satisfaction, happiness, contentment, and excitement along with the enjoyable physiological reactions that go with them.
  • You'll help your organization, board or council. Mentoring can help give your organization a recruitment edge, shorten learning curves, and improve productivity and quality.
  • You'll leave the world better than you found it. It's been said before, and it's still true. Taking the time to reach out to others, share your life's wisdom, and convey your respect for them is probably the least expensive and most powerful way to change the world, one life at a time.

Characteristics of an Effective Mentor

  • Supportive
  • Patient
  • Respected
  • People Oriented
  • A good motivator
  • A good listener
  • Respectful of others
  • An effective teacher
  • Self-confident
  • Willing to share
  • Committed

Expectations of the Mentee

  • Competent
  • Credible
  • Ambitious
  • Eager to learn
  • Loyal
  • Candid
  • Positive attitude
  • Able to listen
  • Work as a partner
  • Keep confidences
  • Accept responsibilities
  • Care about the organization
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