National Mentoring Month: The Four Cs of Mentorship
January is National Mentoring Month. Did you know that children who have a mentor are more likely to be engaged in school and extracurricular activities, and less likely to skip classes or drop out of school? They are also much more likely to continue on to college. But wait – there’s more!
While mentoring has been proven to be beneficial for the child, it can also be very fulfilling for the mentor. Mentoring teaches essential leadership skills like how to give sound advice and be supportive, how to recognize strengths and weaknesses, and how to bring out the best in others, just to name a few.
Do you have a mentoring program within your company, association, club, or church? If not and you are interested in starting one, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership can help.
If you do have a mentoring program, here are the four Cs to help you and your mentee get the most out of the program.
The Four Cs of Mentorship
The most important step in a mentorship is to learn what your mentee is trying to achieve. This discussion should happen right away to ensure compatibility. If you work in the medical field and your mentee wants to go into finance it might be difficult for you to help your mentee reach their goals.
Choose your schedule and stick with it. No matter the frequency or type of meeting, set your schedule ahead of time. If there is a conflict later, you can always reschedule, but adding the next six or twelve months of meetings on your schedule puts a priority on your commitment. It also keeps you from over-scheduling yourself and needing to cancel or reschedule frequently.
Let SignUp help you keep your mentoring schedule on track. Set up times to meet with our "Repeating Spots" feature and your appointments will be synced with your electronic calendars so everyone keeps their commitments.
To prevent miscommunication, make sure you review expectations and discuss things like the length of the mentorship, meeting locations, confidentiality, communication methods (email, text, phone, etc.), and so on.
You must be 100% committed to this responsibility. This is a crucial step to a successful mentoring experience. When you become a mentor you are providing a commitment of time, energy, and knowledge to help make a child’s life better. It won’t be a meaningful learning experience for your mentee if you stop in the middle of the program.
Mentorships are an opportunity for learning and growth for both parties. They can provide a compelling, positive influence on children, and create a truly rewarding experience for you both.
Pro Tip: For more guidance to unlocking the power of mentorship, check out Mentorship Unlocked: The Science and Art of Setting Yourself Up for Success.