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There's an interesting policy document here: [[1]] (Provided by Rick Clements, ATM-G)

Mentorship programme guidelines Edit

In our club, we're running a reasonably successful mentorship programme. Here are the rules:

  • We have a chain of mentors. Reciprocal mentors (I mentor you, you mentor me) are not allowed. They haven't worked -- ever. So A mentors B who mentors C who mentors A. That seems to work quite well
  • Everybody has a mentor. Everybody is a mentor
  • Club members who have passed Level 3, or who have been at the club for 5 meetings or three months are eligible to be mentors
  • We discourage different sex mentors. It causes unecessary friction. We prefer same-sex mentors (although it's not a hard-and-fast rule in our club).

Our club has made the mentor program work with a different set of rules:

  • Everybody has a mentor, but not everyone is a mentor.
  • To be a mentor the member should be ahead of the mentee. (For very experienced members, an exception is made.)
  • The member must be active to be a mentor.
  • We have no restriction on reciprocal mentors. Our two most experienced members have successfully been reciprocal mentors for about 7 years.
  • We have had no issues with different sex mentors. We always check with the mentee to see if they are comfortable with their mentor. The mentee could have an issue based on sex, age or personality.

Hints / Tips that have worked for clubs Edit

  • Appoint a mentorship co-ordinator. Don't let the poor VPE do this on top of everything else.
  • Once appointed, the mentorship coordinator needs a constant supply of mentors.
  • Make sure each new member gets a mentor of his/her choice rather than appointing a mentor.

Advantages of a mentorship programme Edit

  • We've found that the mentorship programme encourages the mentors to participate too! As they encourage their protégéss, they themselves are encouraged to participate.
  1. Mentoring is the key to our individual and collective success in Toastmasters.

Mentoring is a relationship, not a program, and by building relationships we are fulfilling one of the first tenets of the Mission of the Club..."to provide a mutually-supportive and positive learning environment"...

  1. The Mentoring relationship often brings a realization of an individual’s hidden talents as the mentor and mentee interact. Most successful mentors take on the role with an enthusiasm for the opportunity and an open mind to the endless possibilities that role can provide. Personal growth, as well as the satisfaction of playing the supporting role in another’s success, are important benefits of being a mentor.
  2. Successful mentors consider themselves a personal coach. Coaching involves a variety of skills which includes assessing, demonstrating, motivating and tutoring. Mentors are often called upon to provide help, advice and encouragement to unlock the mentee's portential and raise their level of achievement and expectation.
  3. Successful mentors are counselors and leaders. Part of the mentee's success will come from the self-confidence they receive from the encouragement and support of their mentor. Through the mentoring relationship, the mentee learns to overcome barriers to achievement and to chart a course for their personal success.
  4. Successful mentors become role models as they provide guidance to their mentees. As the relationship develops, the mentor inspires their mentee by demonstrating their skill and knowledge. These attributes are often emulated by the mentee as they develop their own success goals through the trusting relationship built between mentor and mentee.
  5. Successful mentors are networkers. Networking skills are a vital part of the mentoring relationship, and can help contribute to the mentee's personal growth by providing knowledge, or opportunities for participation. The mentee will learn, grow and share with others in the process, making the mentoring relationship a collective experience as well as a personal journey.
  6. Successful mentors are good listeners. Well-developed listening skills allow the mentoring relationship to succeed through open lines of communication and a furthur understanding of the individual's needs.

Val Albert - Saratoga Springs, NY USA [www.region7val.org]

Problems with a mentorship programme Edit

  • Discourage men mentoring women and women mentoring men. Mentors spend a lot of time with their protegés and partners of the protegés may get jealous (let's call a spade a spade)
  • They really need a LOT of encouragement. What I've seen work in some clubs is that there's a formal "mentorship" slot on the agenda every meeting. Somebody gives the club 2-5 minutes on mentoring.

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