Updated: May 22
As the Executive Director of Pass the Torch for Women Foundation, Samantha has seen the impact of mentorship firsthand. When it comes to entering a mentoring relationship, be it as a mentor or a mentee, having an idea of what the relationship will look like is helpful. For those of you curious to start your own journey with mentoring, Samantha gave us the inside scoop.
When reflecting on our personal and professional journey, we know that we did not get to where we are today without the people who have helped play a guiding role as mentors along our path. Some of us have reaped the benefits of informal mentorship while others may have been a part of a more formalized mentoring program. Both forms are important and setting yourself up for success will produce the greatest impact for your mentoring relationship - but how?
One of the most critical pieces of the formula for a successful launch when joining a mentoring program is learning and adopting the expectations from the very beginning.
Formalized mentoring programs typically have a framework of how their program operates. Reviewing the code of conduct and understanding the common language within the mentoring community is an important early step in the process of setting yourself up for success.
It is also critical to understand the role of the mentor and mentee and form a shared understanding of how you will navigate your relationship. Things like who will call who, what is the best form of communication, what do you want to accomplish during your time together, how do you wish to receive and provide feedback, etc. are all great expectations to lay out in the very beginning.
Both the mentor and mentee are responsible for sharing their goals and coming to each mentoring session prepared to work towards their goals and hold one another accountable.
Regular check-ins and notes of encouragement can set the relationship up for success, along with expressing gratitude. Mentoring programs like Pass the Torch for Women are designed to create community and connect people from all backgrounds to a relationship that will inspire, guide, and uplift. The first step in the equation is asking yourself: How do I want to learn and grow? How can I use my talents, strengths, and passion to be a part of something that will fill up my cup and overflow into those around me?