In the last few months I have had several very good conversations on the growth and learning potential of Mentoring. Normally you have a Mentor and a Mentee, but I think that perspective could be limiting. Let me explain. What if we thought of everyone as both a Mentor and a Mentee? Perhaps a new word could be a Mentoree! I wonder if that word will make it into the Oxford dictionary! Let me explain further…learning can come from anywhere and anyone if you are open to the process. And sometimes it comes when it is least expected. That is why I believe that the word Mentor can be limiting, as it can seem like a one-way flow of information and knowledge verses two-way.
This past November I attended a half-day course on How to be a Mentor offered through CEED (Centre of Education and Entrepreneurial Development in Nova Scotia). And we have recently created a partnership with CEED to launch a mentoring Pilot Program. This program is currently ongoing and is showing great success. It will be expanded in the future, but that will be discussed a little further down the road. The instructor made it clear what the roles of a mentor and mentee are but also demonstrated that it is an opportunity for both parties to gain a new perspective and learn new things. I think back to the times in my career when I have had the opportunity to work with many co-op students and those have all been wonderful learning opportunities. Sometimes I think I received more value from the time I spend with each co-op student than they do.
As I look at the all the Baby Boomers retiring, and some unretiring, all I see is an opportunity for them to be a Mentoree to help young businesses, young workers, older workers, senior leadership and older companies that are in the midst of succession planning for their business. Plus, the added benefit that you get back is the new learning that you can receive as part of the process. What a combination!
So, I ask you, have you been a Mentoree lately and what have you learned?
Director of Corporate Development