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Q: Aside from asking specific questions of our Mentors of the Month, how does one go about getting a personal mentor?
A: To partner with a personal mentor, I’d ask whether you’d like to be mentored with regard to your AWMI position, or with regard to your career.
With AWMI, as a Chapter board member, I’d look to others in the chapter/region/association who have held that position and can offer guidance and training. Is this your first year as in the position? Did you have an opportunity to serve on the board in another position so you have a basic familiarity? Are you aware of the Board Training Program that is available (http://www.awmi.org/members/documentmanager/manuals/)? How long have you been an AWMI member? Been on the board? We can connect you with a past or an incumbent experienced chapter board member, or Regional Director, or one of our International leaders, or a Mentoring Committee member. This benefit is available to all leadership positions, as well as to all of our regular members. Another useful tool is Section O of the P&G Manual on Mentoring (http://www.awmi.org/members/documentmanager/manuals/).
With your career, I’d look to other AWMI members whose job positions mirror yours and who could give guidance and advice on best practices, or to someone in your own company. Did you know you can search our directory by job type to find other members who share your job position? Another resource would be associations specific to your particular career arena.
We have the resources to connect you with a mentor that’s a perfect fit.
Q: What should one expect of their mentor? What is considered an appropriate mentor / mentee relationship?
A: With regard to what one should expect from a mentor, and what is appropriate for the relationship, I think it should be a commitment on the part of both the mentor and the mentee to maintain an open dialogue and frequent contact. You want to know that when you call or email your mentor, she/he will look forward to providing a timely response to your questions. Also, I think you should expect to spend some off-time with each other, whether at dinner meetings within the association, or with just the two of you over a cup of coffee or lunch/dinner. As a mentee, you should not be afraid to ask questions. There are no silly questions – if you don’t know something, the only way to find out is to ask. And your mentor should provide you with answers to the simple questions, and the difficult ones, with professionalism. Your mentor should also be aware that sometimes you jut don’t know what you don’t know, until you need to know it. That’s where looking ahead will be helpful. She/he can provide tools and training sometimes before a question arises, and help you prepare for new situations. She/he should be excited to help you learn new things!
Q: Is there a specific protocol that one should adhere to?
A: There is no set protocol aside from the expectation of both parties to maintain a professional relationship that will work well for each of you. While most mentor/mentee relationships may fall into general guidelines, you could find that more specific guidelines will work best for you. Perhaps you and your mentor commit to a telephone call once a week at Noon on Wednesdays. Maybe you commit to carpooling to board meetings, dinner meetings, events so you’ll have a little extra time together privately before and/or after meeting events. If you share a personal passion such as walking, bike riding or shopping, you can spend time enjoying those pursuits while discussing AWMI or business topics. Something else to consider is the amount of time that each of you will be able to pledge daily/monthly/weekly. You’ll want to find what works best for your specific relationship.
Q: What information is available to our membership to encourage them to seek mentor / mentee relationships?
A: Currently, we advertise mentoring via articles in the Metal Mail, with the Mentoring Notes sent to Chapter Presidents bimonthly (shared with chapter boards and/or membership via newsletter), and at the International Conference in the fall. The leadership of AWMI is passionate about paying it forward and providing the next generation of leaders and our members with knowledge, training and mentoring. The skills and proficiencies you can acquire as an AWMI member are many – time management, budgeting, public speaking, networking, effective communication, and so many more – eachcan benefit your personal and professional lives.
For more information, contact Victoria Zanutto-Kautz, AWMI International Mentoring Chair.