5: The Mentoring Cycle – Moving on Down the Road

Hello friends!  We trust that you have been thinking about potential mentors.  You may be reluctant to ask someone to be your mentor because you don’t know what being mentored entails.  Last April NENA presented a free webinar during National Public Safety Telecommunicator’s Week on Mentoring.  This webinar was prepared by Jennifer Kirkland and Kim Clark.   Today we are going to review the Mentoring Cycle as it was presented in this webinar in hopes that it may demystify mentoring for you and put it into practical  terms.

The first two steps in the Mentoring Cycle are Meet and Engage.  These steps were addressed last week when we talked about finding a mentor and addressed how to communicate your desire to be mentored.  What if the person you have identified has never been a mentor before or are concerned about the time commitment?  These facts are addressed in the next step in the Mentoring Cycle:  Negotiate.

Remember, mentoring is an influential relationship with focused objectives.  What those objectives are, are for you and your mentor to determine through the Negotiate step. Taking the time up front to determine how you will meet, how frequently, how long the meetings will be, setting specific goals etc. will ensure the best possible outcome. If from the outset, you invest the time to define the terms of the relationship, then both parties can be confident in the expected objective and outcome.

Once the terms are defined, the true mentoring work begins in the Transform step.  It is in this step, that the relationship Transforms into mentorship as the mentor transfers knowledge, information and wisdom to the mentee.  How this occurs is dependent on the participants. The mentor may be able to listen to the mentee and offer guidance or information.  The mentee may ask thought-provoking questions that challenge the mentor to think more deeply about a subject at hand.   The mentor may suggest books or other resources that will help the mentee to grow.  The mentor may even assign homework for the mentee to accomplish and report back on.  The Transform step is dynamic and organic to the parties within the terms of the established relationship.

Through this collaborative process, the mentee enters the Obtain step, where they will grow and Obtain guidance, information, wisdom and knowledge from the mentor.  Although the mentor’s role is to share information and suggest paths, the mentor may also grow through the collaborative process.  Remember, your role is to Obtain the information, wisdom and guidance provided and to give consideration as you choose the next steps in your journey.

The terms of the relationship conclude with the last step, Release.  This final, formal step, occurs as the mentor/mentee relationship evolves into one of professional colleagues.  The process of mentoring and being mentored is equally beneficial for both parties and a synergistic growth can occur and continue as mentoring participants go on to replicate the process with others.

The Mentoring Cycle can only be made possible with the participation of both parties.  Mentorship is a very rewarding and collaborative way to manifest growth.    We hope that you are seriously considering finding a mentor, and with this framework in mind, you are able to make the most of every mentoring opportunity.

Are you enjoying these posts?  If so, please share them with your peers.  Do you have a great idea to share about your own experience?  Would you like to contribute to a future post or hear more about a related topic?  Please leave a comment below or contact an AZ APCO-NENA Executive Board Member and let them know.

Check back next week when we will talk about other ways you can manifest growth.  Until then, remember to look for joy so that it can find you!

Content Contributed by AZ APCO-NENA Executive Board Member Kimberly Clark, ENP “The 911 Maven”

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