real world expertise...dedication...passion
How our NEW Mentoring Paradigm works
A paradigm, or original model, sets the standard for what follows. It can be complex, without a doubt but if success is desired, then the complexity can't be ignored. After all, mentoring is "the most complex of all human interactions". Expertise is essential. Our NEW Mentoring Paradigm folds into it our Situational Mentoring Model as noted below.
Air National Guard
Our mentoring solution helped the Air National Guard implement formalized mentoring to enhance its nation-wide diversity initiative. At 30 Units/Wings across the USA, mentors at higher levels helped proteges develop Leadership Competencies needed to advance. We applied our New Mentoring Paradigm to deftly balance the needs of three distinct groups:
1. the institution (highest, Strategic Level)
2. people /teams (middle, Operational Level)
3. individuals (lower, Tactical Level)
Mentor-Assisted Enrichment Projects (MAEP)
For 8 years, we ran, designed, carried out R&D on the MAEP concept--unique in the world and first of its kind. This is how we learned the various factors that go into the New Mentoring Model (Paradigm). The proteges were students grades 4-12. Some were from Gifted/Talented/Creative programs,others were at-risk kids, Natives--a wide spectrum of students often overlooked. Some aspects of MAEP included STEM. Our mentors (pre-service teachers) were trained to utilize higher-level thinking skills in their individual projects with their proteges and a wide array of psychological constructs that teachers in training learn.
Mentoring Expertise Chart
Our mentoring-specific expertise chart depicts four levels: from Novice, through as series of three progressions of increasing, varied experience to arrive at the Expert level.
Perhaps one of the best comparables familiar to readers would be that of "ten thousand hours".
Our chart illustrates some of the problems associated with lack of expertise when it comes to designing a mentoring program, launching it or running it.
Shell Oil asked us to help them replace their in-place Mentoring Scheme for 300 high-level mentor-protege partners. To that point, hundreds of thousands of dollars (to say nothing of countless hours and energy) had been wasted.
What had happened? We discovered the program was deeply flawed as it was a simplistic one-size-fits-all design. In collaboration with mentors, would-be proteges and sponsors, we corrected this by designing three programs: Career Path, Career Expansion and Orientation for New Hires. The programs continued to operate for years until this overall approach became part of the culture of the organization.
Situational Mentoring Model
Our Situational Mentoring Model is concept-rich in that it takes into account the dynamic nature of relationships, needs, and context. Since the relationship is dynamic, at any given point, the protege may ask for or need less or more of one of the several dozen (1) equipping or (2) empowering behaviors. To show that the relationship is dynamic and real world, there are no arrows from left to right which would otherwise suggest there is a rigid progression from one Style to the next with no cycling back.
Concept: Mentoring Inflexibility
What is the importance of knowing that a mentor can get stuck in his or her behaviors? (This concept is encapsulated in our Situational Mentoring Model.)
Mentors can get stuck only empowering the protege rather than responding according to the context and needs. Under certain conditions, this behavior is actually too non-directive, or laissez-faire. Instead of offering necessary guidance and structure, the mentor simply lets the protege flounder and figure it out on his/her own or thinks the protege is ready to go it alone.