Collective thoughts on the role of a mentor.mentor Mentor, in Greek mythology
Mentor (mĕn`tər, –tôr'), in Greek mythology, friend of Odysseus and tutor of Telemachus. (mentor) n. A wise and trusted counselor or teacher. 2. An influential senior sponsor or supporter.
ASMC's senior leaders believe that mentors can play a vital role in the development of sometimes younger, certainly less experienced colleagues. To that end, ASMC ASMC American Suzuki Motor Corporation
ASMC American Society of Military Comptrollers
ASMC Association of Sales & Marketing Companies
ASMC Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference
ASMC Area Support Medical Company
ASMC American Small Manufacturers Coalition sent a questionnaire to chapter presidents, speakers, and other individuals who participated in the Speed Mentoring session at last year's Professional Development Institute. We asked that they share their sense of what a mentor's role is, how mentees find mentors (or the other way around), what the ingredients are for a successful mentor/mentee relationship, and descriptions of formal mentoring programs in their organizations.
The responses were varied, insightful, and thoughtful. In some cases, respondents In the context of marketing research, a representative sample drawn from a larger population of people from whom information is collected and used to develop or confirm marketing strategy. described their experiences as mentors; others, as mentees. In all cases, the respondents were firm in believing that the role of a mentor is a serious one and one that places a great deal of responsibility on his or her shoulders. Listen to their voices as they share their thoughts with you.
When I think of the role of a mentor, I relate it in the purest, simplest sense. A mentor is a wise nurturer. Our Native American Indian tribes had a chief who in the purest sense was a "wise nurturer." These "early mentors" were kind, patient, self-sacrificing individuals who observed and evaluated the skills and performance of tribal members. To be a successful mentor, a person must have the desire, ability, and skill to guide and lead a junior individual.
--Betsy McCutcheon, Aviation Chapter
A mentor should support, challenge, and provide guidance to a mentee men·tee
One who is mentored.
[ment(or) + -ee1.] , through listening, positive and constructive words, and example. A successful mentor/mentee relationship is based on values of trust, respect, availability, confidentiality, and accountability.
--Commander Fred Dini, Aloha Chapter
The role of a mentor is to assist the mentee-in accomplishing his or her goals. The mentor uses his experience and connections to ensure that the mentee takes the appropriate actions to reach personal goals. The idea is to develop a long-range plan for the mentee.
--Harry Pillot, New Biscayne Chapter
Mentoring really comes down to three basic things: feedback, fostering professional development, and career advice.
--Chip Fulghum, Washington Chapter
A mentor is like a pair of glasses. The mentor needs to be the correct prescription for the mentee; basically, the main goal for the relationship should be for the mentor to help the mentee improve his or her vision.
--Darrell Allen II, Aviation Chapter
The role of a mentor is to provide career context and advice, help in networking, and to be a springboard for career discussion/ideas.
--Joe Marshall, Washington Chapter
Mentors take the time to show you the ropes. They work with you to impart their wisdom from their own job experiences. They encourage you and help you work through mistakes without raking raking
of an elephant—see back raking. you over the coals. They keep you from re-inventing the wheel as you learn your profession. Mentors are the repositories of corporate knowledge of any organization, not hoarders of information.
--Jonna L. Burich, Aviation Chapter
The role of a mentor is to offer information, wisdom, and career guidance to their prot g s and to be a good example--walk the walk, hold individuals accountable for their actions, and accept responsibility for their own mistakes.
--Kristin M. Borntrager; Twin Cities Chapter
The most important role of a mentor is to be a problem solver ... ready to give advice at all times. A successful mentor will help a mentee bring out his or her personal goals and not impose personal beliefs of how the mentee should be.
--Angeline Frett, Central Texas Chapter
To be willing to share the benefit of his or her experience and knowledge. We can even be mentors to others just by encouraging one another.
--Jessica Dunaway, Redstone/Huntsville Chapter
A good mentor is a loyal, dedicated person who is willing to share professional and personal knowledge and is good at people skills and teaching. He is not defined by being the most educated, the senior analyst, or a direct supervisor; he is defined by being a loyal, dedicated person who is willing to share professional and personal knowledge and is good at people skills and teaching.
--Vickie Compton, Redstone/Huntsville Chapter
Some of the respondents were quite succinct suc·cinct
adj. suc·cinct·er, suc·cinct·est
1. Characterized by clear, precise expression in few words; concise and terse: a succinct reply; a succinct style.
The mentor must have an honest desire to help others.
--Maria D. Palmer, Vandenberg Space & Missile Chapter
To provide guidance, encouragement, and "tricks of the trade.
--Glenn Johnson, Aviation Chapter
A mentor is your champion, not your coach.
--Gillian Misiewicz, Vandenberg Space & Missile Chapter
A trusted counselor or guide and a commitment to the employee's development.
--Jeanne Karsten, Greater Omaha Chapter
Taken together, the qualities these respondents mentioned are ones that mentors must possess in order to be successful at their trade. Finding the one person who exhibits those qualities and would be a satisfying match may take time but, in the end, the search for the perfect pairing is worth it. The respondents offered the following suggestions for finding that pairing. Some of the suggestions are specific to a particular area, but they point the prospective mentee in the right direction.
Many instructors in professional military education schools (DFMC&S and DDSC DDSC Doctor of Dental Science
DDSC Defense Distribution Systems Center
DDSC dynamic differential scanning calorimetry
DDSC Durham Divers Scuba Club (Ontario, Canada)
DDSC Delay-Doppler Spread Channel ) offer to serve as mentors. Senior leaders in the FM career field often serve as mentors. In many cases, the mentee needs to initiate the relationship. I would caution a mentee to get to know his or her potential mentor.
My experience has been that to find a mentor, you simply need to identify someone you admire and bravely take the sometimes awkward first step toward introducing yourself and asking for his or her professional advice. The worst that can happen is a "no," but the best that can happen is a long-term professional relationship and the best personalized per·son·al·ize
tr.v. per·son·al·ized, per·son·al·iz·ing, per·son·al·iz·es
1. To take (a general remark or characterization) in a personal manner.
2. To attribute human or personal qualities to; personify. guidance you could ask for.
One way our chapter achieves its goals is by adopting an airman to become an ASMC member. This provides an opportunity to an airman to be introduced at an early stage in his or her military career to the benefits provided by ASMC. ASMC goals are achieved through mentoring others, helping them with CDFM CDFM Certified Defense Financial Manager
CDFM Computational Dynamic Fracture Mechanics (Dept of Aerospace Eng, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India) exams, and providing them with resources and tools that will make them better employees, thus benefiting them and the organization's mission goals. This is one of the reasons ASMC is a great organization. Its own goals promote mentorship by helping members grow to be professionals as well as responsible individuals.
--Maria D. Palmer
I have been fortunate to have a great father in my life. He taught me to be a man and that's the most important thing someone can teach a boy. I have also been blessed to have other mentors at certain periods in my life: teachers, bosses, older friends. Most of the mentors in my life have found me.
--Darrell Allen II
Ask! Approach someone you admire and respect.
A mentee needs to understand exactly what his or her needs are and determine if the mentor should be on the job or from another source. Today's technology allows a mentee to look on line for a mentor as well as research reviews about mentors and programs. Recommendations can come from a supervisor, co-worker or area colleges.
I believe that the mentor and mentee find one another. It's not a matter of asking "Will you be my mentor/mentee?" It is a mutual understanding by each party, and they have both in some way touched each other's lives. From a mentee point of view, that could be seeing the mentor in admirable ad·mi·ra·ble
ad action at work or in meetings, leading to the conclusion that this person is a great leader. A potential mentor may determine someone's need and volunteer his services. As they say, people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.
--Aleshia Bradford, Aviation Chapter
And here's a novel approach: First, find someone who is where you hope to be in some aspect of your life. Then, sit down with that person and have a cup of coffee.
--1st Lieutenant Tricia T. Ewing, Okinawa Chapter
Both the mentor and the mentee must practice certain behaviors for the relationship to work. To a person, all respondents said that mutual trust is the key, followed by a mutual respect for each other, and a commitment to the program.
Both parties must develop a mutual trust and respect for each other, value each other as a person, have a commitment to be strong when negative feedback is necessary, be willing to rise to the next level, and have a desire for growth.
Work, desire, time, trust, and communication are all key to a successful mentor/mentee relationship. It is key that both parties realize that when entering a "relationship," it will take work. His or her desire and excitement will feed my desire and excitement. Time is my most precious gift to a mentee. It is important to me that a mentee realizes and appreciates this gift. The value of strong trust in a relationship is priceless. It takes time to build trust; it takes only an instant to lose trust. Gaining and losing trust often comes down to communication. Exercise your talking, writing, listening, feedback, and non-verbal skills to make sure you have a successful mentor/mentee relationship.
--Dave Weinberg, Washington Chapter
The mentor will do his or her best to share experiences and knowledge in order to help the other succeed. The mentee on the other hand, will need to communicate his or her wants and needs. Mutually, they will come to an agreement on how best to accomplish this. The mentor will provide guidance and support throughout the process. The mentee will work diligently dil·i·gent
Marked by persevering, painstaking effort. See Synonyms at busy.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin d to put the plan into action. Both will discuss what has been accomplished and what may need to change until the desired goals are met. The result is a rewarding experience that benefits both. It's a win-win situation.
--Maria D. Palmer
The key attributes of a mentor-mentee relationship are openness and communication.
Feedback. There must be trust between the two individuals in order for meaningful feedback to take place. For there to be trust, they must forge a professional, caring relationship. That of course is going to take the most precious thing one has--time. A mentor has to invest the time in his or her people, getting to know them, their goals, and their family goals in order to have a successful relationship built on trust.
Key in the relationship is that the mentee remains in charge of his or her career. The mentor is there to assist, not to take over
You just have to be willing to share the benefit of your experience and knowledge. We can even be mentors to others just by encouraging one another. One of the most effective ways to do this is to provide frequent positive feedback during an assigned task or while striving toward a goal. Positive feedback is a great morale booster Noun 1. morale booster - anything that serves to increase morale; "the sight of flowers every morning was my morale builder"
boost, encouragement - the act of giving hope or support to someone that removes doubt, builds self-esteem, and results in a sense of accomplishment.
--Jessica Dunaway, Vandenberg Space & Missile Chapter
The success of a mentorship rapport The former name of device management software from Wyse Technology, San Jose, CA (www.wyse.com) that is designed to centrally control up to 100,000+ devices, including Wyse thin clients (see Winterm), Palm, PocketPC and other mobile devices. is dependent on both parties wanting to make a difference in each other's lives.
--1st Lieutenant Tricia T. Ewing
Mentoring can be as simple as a one-on-one relationship sometimes forged by serendipitous ser·en·dip·i·ty
n. pl. ser·en·dip·i·ties
1. The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.
2. The fact or occurrence of such discoveries.
3. An instance of making such a discovery. situations. Some organizations, such as the Mentorship Program in Harry Pillot's organization and the AMCOM AMCOM Aviation and Missile Command (US Army) People Empowering People Mentoring Program in Jessica Dunaway's organization, have formal programs that allow mentors and mentees to find one another easily. Either way, the mentoring experience can be a rich and fulfilling one for both parties. But as Jeanne Karstens cautions, a formal program may work well for some people, but it should not be used to supplant sup·plant
tr.v. sup·plant·ed, sup·plant·ing, sup·plants
1. To usurp the place of, especially through intrigue or underhanded tactics.
2. the tremendous experience and commitment from the leaders and other personnel within the organization to help develop all team members to their maximum potential.
Mentoring is a powerful tool that can be used for professional and personal development. It improves individual performance, retention, and professional development. Mentoring helps to stimulate career progression and provides many opportunities for all involved to expand their leadership, interpersonal in·ter·per·son·al
1. Of or relating to the interactions between individuals: interpersonal skills.
2. , and technical skills. I encourage everyone to get involved in mentorship.
"Finding a mentor depends on what you are looking for Formal programs can be great, but may lack personal investment. If you are looking to progress in a certain functional area, finding someone who has been down that path, but who is not in your chain of command, is ideal. How do you find that person? Ask around, get recommendations, or ask respected people you meet at conferences or courses."
(Some respondents also shared their mentoring experiences, including a vignette Vignette
A symbol or pictorial representation of the corporation on a stock certificate. Usually a complicated and artistic design, it is meant to make the counterfeiting of stock certificates as difficult as possible. by James Watkins Professor James Watkins is head of the department of Sports Science at the University of Wales Swansea.
Professor Watkins is an advisory board member of the Journal of Sports Sciences and an editorial board member of the European Journal of Physical Education. . To read the full texts of all replies, please visit ASMC's web site.)
"Communication is the most important step in establishing a relationship. Telling your mentor up front what you expect from him or her and allowing your mentor to reciprocate re·cip·ro·cate
v. re·cip·ro·cat·ed, re·cip·ro·cat·ing, re·cip·ro·cates
1. To give or take mutually; interchange.
2. To show, feel, or give in response or return.
v. is the answer. The mentor and the mentee must have a positive attitude and be capable of having innovative ideas. Both have to be respectful re·spect·ful
Showing or marked by proper respect.
re·spectful·ly adv. of each other, especially when coming up with solutions to issues. Keep it professional."