ERIEC Mentor’s Reflections - Part 2

Kris Schinke is an Executive and Leadership coach who has been volunteering as a mentor with ERIEC since 2018. Kris shares in this two-part mentor blog the many benefits of mentorship.

When we Mentor, we share our experiences and our successes through storytelling and examples. We ask questions, suggest assignments, and become “accountability partners”. We should not think of ourselves as coaches (although many use mentoring and coaching interchangeably) since a coach tends to observe, and then correct, what they have observed. A coach does ask questions but also tells and directs. A coach usually coaches in a particular area because of their past accomplishments and expertise, while a mentor relies more on their experiences.

There are several types of Mentorships, such as:

a) Formal mentorship, which often comes through programs:

b) Informal Mentorship, which happens in a variety of ways:

c) Unconscious Mentorship, which we may not be aware of. For example:

d) Reverse Mentorship, which happens when older generations reach out to younger ones:

Quick Mentorship Statistics (Forbes Magazine):

  • 76% of people think mentors are important, but only 37% have one
  • Most people opt for same-sex mentors (69% of women, 82% of men)
  • People with mentors are happier at their current jobs than those without
  • Only 14% of mentor relationships started by asking someone to be their mentor. 61% of those relationships developed naturally

Mentoring Considerations:

Of course, commitment is critical since the newcomer (or anyone else who can benefit from a mentor) is counting on you! Consistency of meetings is important, as is follow-up. Here are some other considerations in a mentorship relationship:

a) Setting Goals

  • Why should I do this?
  • Who am I best suited to Mentor, and why?
  • What is my availability, and does this match the availability of my mentee?

b) My Qualifications

  • What are my strengths, and do these match the mentee’s needs?
  • Am I in a Leadership role, and is that relevant for a mentee?
  • Am I up to date with today’s resume standards, job process application, and interview techniques, and if not, do I have access to a Subject Matter Expert?
  • How are my networking skills, and can I lead by example in this area?

c) The Mentorship Experience

  • What will the experience be like for the mentee (i.e., is there a language barrier)?
  • How do we create accountability?
  • How and what will we measure for results?
  • Can I give productive and constructive feedback while inspiring and motivating?

Last Words…

“ERIEC is an important organization that many newcomers are thankful they have found for themselves as they requite their career journey in Canada.

Regardless of our busy lives and active lifestyles, everyone has the time to put two or three hours a month aside to volunteer as a Mentor.

The satisfaction and reward are well worth it and you will make lifelong friends. “

“If you want to learn a powerful lesson about yourself, become a mentor”

(Shirley Liu, Business Executive/Mentorship Advocate)