Reason(s) for Mentoring
There are many reasons for getting a mentor, but the obvious ones are for people to seek guidance in their work especially when they are being tasked with issues that are challenging. Or assisting someone’s promotion to a leadership role for the first time, which may be uncomfortable. The other is for people’s career journey, especially when they want to change career, or continue their journey with a different company and or industry. And there are many other reasons for seeking mentorship.
It does not mean that mentorship is the magic wand. It is a relationship base technique that requires commitment and effort in building confidence. It is through:
- Collaboration and problem solving together. This does not mean the mentor solves the challenge for the individual, but a learning opportunity for the mentee.
- a process for experienced individuals within the organization to guide junior personnel.
- Facilitate start-ups, changing and rapid growth companies.
- Develop program(s) development and its implementation.
- Provide an outside opinion and/or assistance in addressing personal and/or other challenges.
- In one way this is a safe environment to seek external and unbiased feedback.
What is mentoring/or mentorship?
There are several definitions:
- It is where a more experienced professional (mentor) works with an individual (the mentee), to share the mentor’s experience, knowledge, and insights.
- Helps the incumbent mentee to stretch and grow professionally and try new things within a safe environment.
- Allows people to ask questions and enhance their skills and knowledge.
- This does not mean the Mentor is ‘know it all’ person. It is an opportunity to be creative and innovative using the mentor’s experience and knowledge while collaborative solves problem while growing the mentee.
This. There are no magic formulae, but lot of ‘customization’ based on the needs and circumstances.
Mentoring is not just about teaching, it is all about developing leadership capabilities, learning, developing professionally and personally, creating, fostering relationships, empowering oneself and others, inspiring others by role modelling, and setting the stage for success. (BMO Haskayne Mentorship program) This is an opportunity to problem solve with guidance in developing and/or major initiatives.
A mentor is seasoned, knowledgeable with experience in various organizations, industries, within a specific or multi disciplines and/or has a senior management background. This individual has the desire to share learnings gained, facilitate the growth and development of the mentee. In one sense the mentor is an advisor to the mentee, who assists in the problem-solving efforts and develops the critical thinking ability of the mentee. Indirectly the mentor also serves as a third-party consultant to an organization if the mentee was sponsored by an organization. This would redefine professional development or leadership to the individual seeking advancement in his/her career.
Obviously, there are several logistics involved in this kind of relationship. Currently not many organizations provide internal mentorship and career development opportunity to staff, including management. Most individuals would need external help, when the supervisor or manager may not have the time and capability to guide personnel
For an individual mentee, the mentor serves as a coach in their career path. However, the mentor is not a career counseling professional. But a sounding board and support in their development. The desire to learn and grow would be the ultimate objective of individuals.
During the mentorship the mentor would serve as a sounding board for the mentee to express their frustrations, opinion, corporate and personal challenges without fear of being judged, since this relationship is confidential. This will require confidence in building this relationship. Most mentorship turn into friendship for the future.
Opportunities to take the challenge with the mentorship is totally dependent on the comfort and initiative of the individual and organization. One of the determinant factors is the degree of challenges they face, their strategic direction and comfort level. What I found has been the hesitance in seeking outside help due to the fear of ‘leaking’ company’s secret. The value of this informal advisory role to the organization will require the organization’s courage and innovation. The successes of mentorship would indirectly enhance the organization directions while supporting the mentee’s growth.
About Peter Chung
Peter Peter C. Chung is the founding/managing Director at Gemini HR Services, a strategic, results-focused and action oriented Human Resources management consulting firm with experience in recruitment, total compensation and rewards, benefits, employee and labour relations, succession planning, organization design/change, strategic planning, in addition HR Information Systems. Other experience includes international HR assignments, restructuring, policies development/implementation, and Health & Safety.
Extensive background and expertise enable him to create strong employees’ engagement and retention strategies while simplifying existing processes, delivering results in key areas to maximize efficiencies, and realizing corporate vision(s). Knowledge in start-ups, changing organizational/operational demands throughout the business lifecycle. Provided Human Resources Management practices to organizations (Alberta Provincial Government, KPMG, ATCO group of companies (Power Generation and non-regulated), TELUS sourcing solutions (AB Health Services), TransCanada Pipelines, e-Zone Networks, National Energy Board, Paintearth Energy Services, Lethbridge College, Sampan Canada, and non-profit such as Champion Career Services, Alberta Sciences Association, Diversecities and others.)
Graduated with a BCom. (University of Calgary), Advanced Organization Development and Human Resources Management Certificate (Columbia University), and received the Fellowship Certified Professional Human Resource (CPHR) designation in recognition of his contribution to the Human Resources Profession.
Other certification/advanced training: instructor on Team Tools and Modules — High Performance Organizations, Organizational Development and Human Resources.
Served as President for several professional associations: Canadian Council of Human Resources Association, Chartereded Professional Human Resources of Alberta (formerly Human Resources Institute of Alberta), and Human Resources Management Association of Edmonton as well as Board members: Alberta Workforces Essential Skills, and Condo Board.
Voluntary efforts include mentoring, coaching entrepreneur (startups & operations), and candidates (their career journeys) through organizations: Certified Professional Human Resources Alberta, Haskayne School of Business, Catalyst (CESOSACO), Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council and others. Serve as judges: BC & AB Human Resources Cases, Alberta Colleges Deans’ Business and Junior Achievements, Contributor: ChillHR platform.