Changing the Face of Mentoring
Recently there has been coverage in the media on Minute Mentoring, or speed mentoring, which is the brainchild of ex-White House Press Secretary Dana Perino.
Minute Mentoring is based on the concept of speed dating, which is where many single people meet one-on-one for a few minutes each, with the end result being meeting several other single people in a small window of time.
The aim of minute mentoring is to save time. Many of the female power brokers who participated in the minute mentoring event do not have the time to participate in traditional mentoring relationships, but are able to carve out pockets of time to share their knowledge and wisdom. If you have never had the privilege of participating in traditional mentoring relationships, instead of feeling disheartened and sorry for yourself, be proactive and take your professional development into your own hands.
Since the face of mentoring is changing, gather together a group of your friends and colleagues and form a mentoring circle, a peer mentoring support network. The relationship is reciprocal in nature where members of the Circle work as a unit to support each other in achieving personal and professional success. As a group, identify accomplished individuals who have successfully done what you are trying to do in your careers. Think about what you would like to learn from them. Organize a minute mentoring event, and invite these mentors who you have chosen to attend.
In addition, you can incorporate the invisible mentor concept, coined by Karen L. Peterson, a Washington State University professor in her 2000 paper, “Invisible Mentor: Communication Theory and Lilian Katz.” As defined by Peterson, “invisible mentors” are unique leaders you can learn from by observing them from a distance. Since 2000, we have progressed a long way, with advances in Internet and other online technologies. As a group, members of the mentoring circle can identify 10 people who they have always wanted to meet, and conduct extensive research on them. What books have been written by and about them? Which speeches and presentations have they given? What concepts and models did they develop? Who mentored and influenced them? Which books influenced them and why?Continued on the next page