Mentoring as Part of Leadership Academies, Part 1

By SkyeTeam on November 17, 2015

Posted by SkyeTeam | November 17, 2015Mentoring as Part of Leadership Academies, Part 1I love the work we do with our clients in partnering with them to develop high impact Leadership Academies that deliver tangible business and personal results. These leadership academies use an integrated approach to learning that combines leadership theory with a blend of assessment, training, coaching, mentoring, assignments and year-long strategic initiatives to adequately prepare participants for the challenges they face on the job and help to develop key competencies critical to the organization’s strategic future.Mentoring is a key component in the design of our Leadership Academy programs. Mentoring ties together many of the development pieces and builds accountability for the entire program with the participants. In this blog series on mentoring we will explore many of the challenges and opportunities associated with the mentoring component of leadership academies.Mentoring can be defined as a significant, long-term, beneficial relationship with the intent to assist the participant’s development, generally as a result of personal one-on-one contact. A mentor is one who offers listening, understanding, perspective, and/or wisdom that is especially useful to the other person. The strength of a mentor lies not in the notion that they meet all of the individual’s needs, but that mentors meet key needs and when offered at important junctures in a person’s life, can help an individual enhance their own life, the lives of the people they support and the organization’s mission and vision.We have found that the mentoring process can also be one of the more challenging aspects to the academy if it is not managed well. Setting it up well, defining expectations, training both the mentors and participants, and consistent follow up gives you the foundation to help it succeed.In our academies we typically have four main primary objectives for the mentoring relationship:Teaching – The participants will teach their mentor the main points of the most recent training courseAccountability – The participants discuss progress on their development plan and areas they need additional support and guidanceAdvising – The participant shares what they have learned from their application assignments and use the mentor to gain additional ideas for implementing the tools and skillsCoaching – Discuss day to day issues and enhance learning and development. This includes leading at their organization, industry, etc.These four primary objectives are in place in order to support the long-term development of the learners. According to the NTL Institute in Bethel, Maine, people retain: 90% of what they learn when they teach someone else/use immediately 75% of what they learn when they practice what they learned 50% of what they learn when engaged in a group discussion 30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration 20% of what they learn from audio-visual 10% of what they learn when they’ve learned from reading 5% of what they learn when they’ve learned from lectureThe mentoring relationship supports the top three ways we learn by having the participant teach their mentor, practice the tools and skills, and discuss challenges and ways to apply the new tools.We have found that accountability is another factor of an academies success and having a mentor in place to hold the leader accountable for their own learning becomes a critical aspect to holding the entire program together. We all know that we can assign a leader an application assignment and if there is not someone holding them accountable, that assignment will get left behind in lieu of their job duties and responsibilities. When they know their mentor will be asking about the assignment, the participant finds the time to apply the learnings and share that with their mentor. Integrating the program components with day-to-day leadership challenges helps the leaders take what they are learning and apply it to many different situations.How often should mentors and participants meet? This is completely up to the individuals and the organization. Some organizations require they meet quarterly after their core training courses. Other organizations meet monthly or every other month. This expectation will be determined on how much time mentors are willing to invest in these leaders while balancing their current roles with the structure of the academy. It is important to set a minimum number of times they will meet, and it is often encouraged to meet more often if each party can make that happen. It is important they meet after their core training courses so that the participant can teach what they have learned and go over their application assignment.Some interesting statistics on mentoring are:Mentees were promoted 5 times more often than those not in a mentoring program. Likewise, mentors were promoted 6 times more often than those not in a mentoring program.Retention rates are also higher for both mentees (72%) and mentors (69%) than for employees who are not a part of a mentor program.Mentees experience higher career satisfaction, career commitment, career mobility, and positive job attitudes.Mentoring also benefits the organization by reducing turnover, increasing organizational commitment, promoting knowledge transfer, and making earlier identification of key talent.How has mentoring impacted you and your organization?If you’d like to learn more about how mentoring could benefit you and your organization please contact us today!(Sources: B.R. Ragins, J.L. Cotton, and J.S. Miller, J.S. 2002; C. Gibb, 1999; G.L. Lewis, 1996; Catalyst Report)Related ArticlesMentoring as Part of Leadership Academies, Part 2In the first installment of the series on Mentoring as Part of Leadership Academies, we defined mentoring, identified the primary objectives of mentoring, the critical role it plays in academy and how often mentors and participants should meet. In this blog article, we discuss the selection of mentors, the character…November 24, 2015In "Leadership and Management"A Comprehensive Model for Leadership DevelopmentOver the years we have found that many leadership development programs focus on one or two areas of development but not all the core competencies that create highly effective leaders. Some programs focus heavily on business acumen but leave out the leadership skills or vice versa. The impact is that…January 19, 2016In "Leadership and Management"A Great Mentor is...Last week we celebrated the graduation of the latest group of participants from the WICT Rocky Mountain Mentoring Program.  During the celebration both Mentors and Mentees share their personal successes and achievements during the program.  The stories included promotions, decisions to change careers, new learning and insights.  These were stories…May 6, 2013In "Leadership and Management"Tags »leadership development denvermentoring Share
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