Good evening organizers of Spectra 2020, 300L class ESUT Pharmacy, distinguished ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for inviting to this meeting. My name is Lady Jane Ndukwe, Director, Genuine Womanhood Initiative, a social reform group using etiquette, character building and education to promote true humanity. Some of you may have heard me on Coal City Fm 92.9 every 9.30am speaking on Etiquette Matters. Today, I’ve been asked to speak on MENTORSHIP. Incidentally, my organization is putting together a mentorship program for our youth members and we’ve titled this program; ‘HOLD MY HAND.’ When you think of someone holding another person’s hand what comes to your mind?
First of all, it shows a sign of friendship, protection and guidance. Now, isn’t this what Mentorship is all about; holding the mentee’s hand through grey areas for better productivity, success and personal development. The mentor who holds the hand of the mentee is supposed to be more experienced and knowledgeable in the area being mentored.
DEFINITION OF A MENTOR
In defining a MENTOR, we could say that a mentor is a person who guides a less experienced person by building trust and modeling positive behavior. The role of the Mentor must be tuned into the needs of the Mentee.
Let’s look at the keywords in that definition of a mentor:
- Guide • Trust • Modeling positive behavior • Tuned to the needs of the Mentee
Riverside Webster’s 11 New College Dictionary 1995 defines Mentor as “a wise and trusted teacher or counselor.”
The success of mentoring is when the mentor and mentee are able to maintain a consistent and ongoing relationship.
BUILDING A PICTURE OF THE MENTOR/MENTEE RELATIONSHIP
- Before a mentor and mentee relationship commences, there must be a need by the mentee. There are several areas the help of a mentor can be sought. Examples: Relationship building, quitting a negative habit, career building, dealing with Abuse or dysfunction.
- A mentor could be assigned to a mentee or a mentee could choose a mentor.
- The Mentor has achieved success in the area he or she is mentoring. Having achieved success gives the mentor expertise in that area making it possible for him or her to guide another in that particular area of need. The mentor’s expertise is what gives the mentee confidence and a basis to build trust. We had our usual Saturday meeting of GWI Concerned Mothers. The facilitator
spoke on the topic: ‘What women need to know before getting married.’ After that meeting I asked for youths who needed mentoring to send me a private message. A few of our young ladies wanted guidance on relationship building and marriage. You and I know this is neither a one-day affair nor an easy area to get into. Why? Trust must be established before someone begins to open up to a mentor or counselor. The mentor will be speaking based his or her own experience and the experiences of others over time. This gives the mentor an informed knowledge of the area of concern.
- The mentor’s careful guidance and consistency is what will sustain this trust.
- When trust is built, it becomes easier for the mentee to receive the guidance being given, apply this guidance and model his or her behavior in line with the guidance received to achieve success and become a better version of himself or herself. Much of what we can become lies deep within us. With a little guidance and support from a trusted person, we gain the right push to unveil what lies within us. For some people, they may not have a formal mentor but a support system from their families and friends, which spurs them on to success. Having someone you can listen to that you can trust is very crucial in one’s development.
Many a time we come to a crossroad in our lives where we’re not certain, which direction to take. Some other times, we get bogged down by challenges and distractions and we need that one person who can hold our hand and walk with us through those rocky periods.
There’s a difference between a role model and mentor. The ROLE MODEL is someone you look up to and imitate. Some people have role models they look up to in their social and business life. When my brother was in high school, his role model was Michael Jackson. My brother patterned his dressing, hair, dancing and behavior like that of Michael Jackson. Incidentally, he dropped his real name, Henry and took up the name, Michael, which he still bears till today. Apart from going to a Michael Jackson concert in London many years ago, my brother never had the opportunity of interacting with Michael Jackson or learning from him one-on-one. So that’s who a role model is. Someone you admire and imitate.
A MENTOR on the other hand is different. He or she is more experienced than the mentee and will work with the mentee one-on-one to achieve success. The idea is not for the mentee to clone the mentor but to take the guidance given as bedrock for bringing forth a more authentic and productive person leading to success and fulfillment.
The mentor/mentee relationship takes the following format:
- CONSULTATION – This is where the mentee consults the mentor for guidance in a specific area. 2. COUNSELING – This involves the mentor listening and asking relevant questions. 3. CHEERLEADING – This is where the mentor offers support and encouragement to the mentee; cheering him or her to success.
TYPES OF MENTORING REL ATIONSHIPS
- THE WISE LEADER: This is where a senior personnel impacts knowledge and wisdom to others. This can be in an office setting where a long serving employee with impeccable record is asked to guide new members of staff in the culture of the organization.
- THE LIFE COACH: This is an experienced person or coach who supports a learner in achieving a personal or professional goal by providing training and guidance. For example, I’m an etiquette coach and I offer trainings in cooperate etiquette and protocol when meeting and dining with foreign guests. I also train women on how to become more ladylike and socially aware of rules of engagement such as how to introduce yourself, make polite conversation, table manners and have poise and decorum. 3. THE TEACHER/EDUCATOR: This person helps to build a student’s professional talents. The teacher will recommend learning resources and impact knowledge. This mentoring relationship between an educator and the student is different from just lecturing in the classroom. 4. There are some who mentor themselves through SELF HELP BOOKS, MANUALS, ARTICLES AND VIDEOS. I once spoke with a young man who came from a troubled background where he was never shown love by the parents and he told me how he had to read books to help him improve himself because basic values were not instilled in him.
THE PURPOSE OF MENTORSHIP
The purpose of mentorship is to tap into the existing knowledge, skills and experience of a high performing employee, teacher, coach or leader and transfer these skills to newer or less experienced employees, students and members of a group. This will help advance the mentee’s career, studies or person.
Let’s break this down a bit further as we look at the importance of a mentor/mentee relationship.
Importance of a Mentor/Mentee Relationship
IF WE LOOK AT THE DIAGRAM, WE CAN SEE THE FOLLOWING BENEFITS:
- Your mentor provides information and knowledge. He or she provides the mentee with the tools to make the right decision. You can learn from your mentor’s experiences to help you prevent the mistakes your mentor made during his or her development period. This forms the COACHING. 2. Your Mentor finds ways to stimulate your personal and professional growth. He or she will act like the sounding board for you to bounce forth ideas. This gives the DIRECTION. 3. Your mentor offers encouragement to keep you going. In the words of Oprah Winfrey, “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” Your mentor can connect you to people who can help you. This is the SUPPORT. 4. Your mentor can help you set realizable goals and guide you on the planning process for achieving the set GOALS. 5. Your mentor celebrates every SUCCESS achieved and urges you on to higher achievements.
Your mentor offers you trusted advice free of charge. The mentor is driven by the satisfaction he or she gets from helping another human being achieve great potentials.
Before I end, I want to upload a short video of the POWER OF MENTORING BY LORI HUNT.
ONE DAY MENTORING CAN CHANGE A LIFE FOREVER. Thank you for listening. Please feel free to ask questions.
LADY JANE NDUKWE