What does an uplifting learning relationship/experience look like? I heard this week in the podcast ‘The Women of Learning‘ one of my network nodes: Taruna Goël in conversation with André Watts discussing mentoring. Here are my messy notes:
Mentoring is any relationship between an experienced person and a newbie. Experience and wisdom on an approach or life skills. Tools, tips and traps as I had the adventure—the experience inside or outside the workplace.
Formal or informal mentoring. Use storytelling to mentor people. There is an interplay between coaching and mentoring. Transform beyond goals. Ask questions, help people to reflect, to be a self-directed learner. What can learn from my experience? It is a learning relationship, ebbs and flows. Use metaphors, words and images to mentor.
Mentoring is about co-creating, teaching, mutuality. Sum of mentees makes you richer. Received more than I give. “Pass on what you have learned.” – Yoda.
Give of yourself. Make a difference. Empower. Give more confidence. Long term goal setting for mentoring. Many mentors. Personal development and holistic. Flexible approach: short term or long term. Coaching is goals and task-oriented in the short term. It is about skills development. The structured process:
1. Get to know. Do trust-building. Find common ground.
2. Set a direction: goals, commitment, learning contract.
3. Strengthen the ties. Hear, ask, review and get and give feedback.
It is a fluid structured process. A mentor is a sounding board or mirror of your thoughts. Stay committed but make it self-directed for a coachee.
On Linkedin and Twitter, you can find mentors. Consider reverse mentoring, especially with people younger than yourself. It is about your experience, not your age. The focus is on strengths building.
This podcast and my notes make me resurface an insight from an oldie:
“But I think the real opportunity for self-driven learning is in the ‘C’ bit of MOOC, ‘c’ for conversation and connecting as well as courses. It is also in the ‘M’ bit. My vision is for Mentored Open Online Conversations supported by mentors, coaches, facilitators and — most importantly — each other.”
“This is why I think that social network technologies are so full of possibility for Mentored Open Online Conversations — it is a practical, timely, socially-engaging, supportive, reassuring and challenging way to learn. And it is all possible.”
Onwards to connected mentoring and connected coaching.