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Daily Buzz: Flip the Script on Mentoring

Empower members to shape their own experience

What does your organization’s mentoring program look like? If it’s the same as it’s always been—an assigned, yearlong, one-on-one relationship—then it might be time for a change. Associations should give members the power to choose their own mentorship experience, said Tirza Austin on the Community by Association blog.

“Like other association models, the mentoring model needs to continue to shift and change with the times,” she said. “It should be flexible, low commitment, and virtual.”

Start by changing the dynamic between mentor and mentee. Instead of assigning a mentor, let members pick one. The best mentor might not be the person your organization has in mind.

“The best mentor is not your retired lifetime members. It is the person who is five to 10 years above the person asking to be mentored. They are relevant,” Austin said. “From mentoring requests, we have seen that younger members are the most requested.”

If members don’t want face-to-face interaction with their mentors, let them take things online. Emails, texts, and video calls still give mentors the chance to provide valuable insights and build relationships, Austin said.

Ultimately, the terms of the relationship should be set by the mentee, not the association. The organization should provide recommendations, while members determine the goals of the relationship, its term length and the frequency of meetups.

“Members want flexibility. What works for one partnership will not work for all of them,” Austin said.

Please select this link to read the original article from Associations Now.

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