Experience has shown that many people who could benefit from mentorship do not become involved because they are not chosen to be a part of an informal partnership or a formal program. Some are held back by old myths and misconceptions about mentoring. Others hesitate because they lack a strategy to successfully start and sustain a mentoring partnership. Namely, they don’t know how to select, choose, and work with someone who could enrich their professional lives. For such individuals, my hope is that the information resources provided in this site will open the door to successful mentoring partnerships. Whether you are a part of an informal mentoring relationship or a formal program, the option to get mentored or be a mentor is always open to the individual. Having knowledge about the process and knowing how to get the process started will make it much easier and increase the likelihood that mentoring will become a part of every person’s life-long learning and development strategy.
This is where the idea of self-managed mentoring comes in to play. With self-managed mentoring each individual is in the driver’s seat whether as a mentee or a mentor. Each person gets to determine when and with whom they set up a mentoring partnership. You can do this whether your company has a program or not or whether or not you were chosen to participate. This is true also if you are self employed, an entrepreneur, consultant, health care professional, teacher, homemaker, etc. Learning is always at your disposal by tapping into the wisdom and expertise of a co-worker, next door neighbor, family member, and a wide circle of other people in your life.
Many people have found the booklet, The Mentoring Bridge: A Self-Management Guide to Informal Mentoring Partnerships (Dr. Rita Boags, 2003), a great resource. With the content, exercises and worksheets in the booklet, any individual can empower themselves to select, choose, and work with a mentor or a mentee. There are some fundamental principles and keys to making that venture a success and the reader will learn those fundamentals.
With the addition of self-managed mentoring, an employer can provide total coverage for those who wish to be mentored. It is both a complement and a supplement to informal mentoring and mentoring programs currently being offered in the workplace.