UFA Mentors Nationwide

 A Mentor Is a Difference-Maker And

a Game Changer

Great mentors have served and worked in a capacity of a number of  different and now very successful professional positions. The long-term impact of mentoring can be life and career changing. 

In my own situation, the mentor was a man who I credit for guiding me in my development as a leader, a strategist and a more complete business professional.

He did not instruct me, or provide on-the-spot coaching or training. Instead, he challenged me; he encouraged me to think through issues and approaches with his painfully difficult to answer questions, and he served as a source of wisdom when I needed it the most. While our relationship as mentor and mentee (sometimes identified as: mentoree) ended after I changed companies, his impact carries through in my work today.

 

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines a mentor as "a trusted counselor or guide." Others expand on that definition by suggesting that a mentor is "someone who is helping you with your career, specific work projects or general life advice out of the goodness of his or her heart.

                                                                                                           

 Why Seek A Mentor:

As described earlier, I attribute part of my professional growth to the guidance of a patient mentor. He challenged me to think differently and to open my eyes and mind to different perspectives. While each of us develop at our own pace, it is reasonable to believe that this type of influence is positive for all of us. A mentor is a personal advocate for you, not so much in the public setting, but rather in your life. Many organizations recognize the power of effective mentoring and have established programs to help younger professionals identify and gain support from more experienced professional in this format. 

 

What a Mentor Does for You:

  • A mentor takes a long-range view on your growth and development.

  • A mentor helps you see the destination but does not give you the detailed map to get there.

  • A mentor offers encouragement and cheerleading, but not "how to" advice.

What a Mentor Does Not Do for You:

  • A mentor is not a coach as explained above. 

  • A mentor is typically not an advocate of yours in the organizational environment: the relationship is private. 

  • A mentor is not going to tell you how to do things.

  • A mentor is not there to support you on transactional, short-term problems.

  • A mentor is not a counselor. 

A mentor gives advice and guides someone who is less experienced and successful, i.e., a mentee or protégé.

Mentoring is a gift and a privilege. To be asked by someone for mentoring means that person sees you as a role model and believes your wisdom can help he/she grow and be more successful. A mentoring relationship can yield significant dividends for both the mentor and the protégé.


Mentoring can be a great way for a protégé to develop skills, gain experience, receive feedback, and get exposure to people, processes and happenings that they might not in the course of their daily work. Most mentors report significant benefits for themselves as well.

What does an amazing mentor do? When people are asked to describe their most amazing mentors, it is normaly a person who word hard to fill every void it that persons life.

Typically the types of developmental areas protégés and mentors pursue include:

-Difficult decisions

-Organizational politics

-Leadership challenges

-Work-life balance challenges

-Unfamiliar functional/technical skills (i.e. sales, finance, operations, business)

-Handling difficult situations/conflict

-Working with various levels of management

-Career path guidance

                                       Take the Mentor Test

1) It is best if mentors are selected by the protégé. T F

2) Mentors and protégés usually work together for many years. T F


3) Mentors and protégé pairings work out best when they have similar interests and styles. T F

4) Mentoring works best when it is an informal process. T F

5) It is better if the protégé’s boss is not his/her mentor. T F

6) It is better if the mentor is outside of the protégé’s direct organization. T F

7) Same-gender pairings usually work out best for a mentoring relationship. T F

8) Mentoring can help acclimate the protégé to a new environment. T F

9) A mentor can sponsor and coach activities that will foster and promote growth. T F

10) Mentoring usually works best without any processes to get in the way. T F

11) Mentoring is only for fast-trackers. T F

12) Mentoring is one way of developing protégé’s skills. T F

13) Mentoring works best when the mentor and protégé are in different fields. T F

14) One of the major roles of a mentor is a counselor. T F

15) Mentoring is a significant investment of time for the mentor. T F

16) To be successful, mentoring must be done face-to-face. T F

17) Anyone can be a successful mentor.

18) Mentors generally report receiving significant benefits of wor

king with a protégé. T F

19) Protégés generally earn more money than their peers in similar positions. T F

20) Protégés are generally more satisfied with their careers than their non-mentored peers. T F

21) The mentor/protégé relationship should be open so that the protégé can talk about any subject. T F

22) Everything in the mentor/protégé relationship should be focused on the issue of the development of the protégé. T F

23) Mentoring should be listed on the protégé’s Individual Development Plan. T F

24) The protégé’s boss is not really involved in the mentoring process. T F.

      Contact us and we will share the answers with you VIA-Email.

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Here are the answers to Mentoring Myths and Realities: Part One - Take the Test.” While the “right” answers may be debatable, the real benefit is when the two parties sit down to discuss their answers as a way to establish clear expectations and boundaries.

1) It is best if mentors are selected by the protégé. T F
False. Those seeking out mentors often choose people they like, as opposed to someone that will help them develop in targeted areas.



2) Mentors and protégés usually work together for many years. T F
False. Research has shown that the most effective length of a mentoring relationship is between six months and two years.

3) Mentors and protégé pairings work out best when they have similar interests and styles. T F
False. It’s nice if they do, but the purpose of the relationship is to develop and learn, so similar interests and styles are not necessary, and often, both learn more when styles and interests are not similar.

4) Mentoring works best when it is an informal process. T F
False. While the process should not be too rigid, it works better when there are some guidelines. This helps set expectations and guidelines for both parties.

5) It is better if the protégé’s boss is not his/her mentor. T F
True, for two reasons. First, it is often better to have an outside perspective that is not influenced by day-to-day demands and deadlines, in order to help mentor and coach.

Secondly, protégés need to feel comfortable in discussing their developmental opportunities, something that many employees would prefer not to do with their direct manager.

6) It is better if the mentor is outside of the protégé’s direct organization. T F
True. This can help give the mentor some distance and objectivity to situations, and will reduce or eliminate the chance of the sessions centering on specific individuals within the organization or departmental issues.

7) Same-gender pairings usually work out best for a mentoring relationship. T F
False. Often, the diverse perspectives of an opposite gender pairing are better.

8) Mentoring can help acclimate the protégé to a new environment. T F
True. This type of targeted mentoring is very useful for helping protégés get on board faster, in terms of processes, contacts, business objectives, and culture.

9) A mentor can sponsor and coach activities that will foster and promote growth. T F
Absolutely; in fact, that is one of the primary outcomes of the relationship.

10) Mentoring usually works best without any processes to get in the way. T F
Not really. There is a balance between informal interactions and a specific, targeted outcome. Therefore, implementing some structure has been found to be most effective.

11) Mentoring is only for fast-trackers. T F
False. Mentoring can be for everyone. The most important element is to match up needs of the protégés with the skills and abilities of the mentors. However, organizations can’t always provide mentors for all employees, so high potentials are often selected.

12) Mentoring is one way of developing protégé’s skills. T F
True. It should be used in conjunction with many different approaches to development, including job shadowing, developmental projects and assignments, formal training, and reading.

13) Mentoring works best when the mentor and protégé are in different fields. T F
This may be true or false, depending on the desired outcome. If the skills needed are function specific (i.e. marketing skills), then it will be beneficial to have the mentor be in the same field provided they are not in the same organization. If, on the other hand, the desired outcome is something more general like specific leadership qualities, then it may be more useful to have the pairs be from different fields in order to provide a broader perspective.

14) One of the major roles of a mentor is a counselor. T F
False. The mentor is not to be a counselor. There may be occasions to discuss approaches to certain situations, but the outcome of the relationship should be developmental.


15) Mentoring is a significant investment of time for the mentor. T F
Not necessarily. Often, mentors are extremely busy people, and are asked by many others to act as mentors to them. Therefore, their role should be to provide guidance and direction to the protégé, and the amount of time invested by both parties should be agreed upon up front.

16) To be successful, mentoring must be done face-to-face. T F
Not true. Though initial sessions are most beneficial done face-to-face, subsequent sessions can be done just as effectively virtually with good results.

17) Anyone can be a successful mentor. T F
Somewhat true. A mentor must possess certain skills, experiences and abilities that can help a protégé, must have good coaching skills, and view the time spent with their protégé as a valued investment.

18) Mentors generally report receiving significant benefits of working with a protégé. T F
True. Benefits include learning about different parts of the organization and satisfaction in helping others. Most mentors also experience personal growth by learning something unexpected from the protégé.

19) Protégés generally earn more money than their peers in similar positions. T F
True. This may be because people who seek out mentors are more focused on their careers, but research has shown that people that do engage in mentoring relationships do earn more than their peers.

20) Protégés are generally more satisfied with their careers than their non-mentored peers. T F
True. This could be for a variety of reasons - sense of control, better feedback, improved skills, etc.

21) The mentor/protégé relationship should be open so that the protégé can talk about any subject. T F
Somewhat true. Mentoring relationships should be focused and
ground rules should be established up front. These should include what should and should not be discussed in the sessions so that both parties are clear.

22) Everything in the mentor/protégé relationship should be focused on the issue of the development of the protégé. T F
True. The scope of the mentoring relationship should be decided upon up front. Once these objectives are met, the relationship should end.

23) Mentoring should be listed on the protégé’s individual development plan. T F
True, and the protégé’s manager should be aware of the mentoring relationship and progress.

24) The protégé’s boss is not really involved in the mentoring process. T F
True. While not involved in the actual sessions, the mentor should periodically talk with the supervisor about development opportunities, etc. Also, the supervisor should ask the employee how the mentoring is going.

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