Group Mentoring Experience
More on Group Mentoring
The nature of this type of developmental relationship creates a space where participants strengthen professional skills, enhance their network of advocates, pursue ambitions, and deepen their sense of self. As compared to apprenticeship models of mentoring (typically one-to-one experiences), learning does not occur through the traditional transfer of knowledge from one participant to the others. Rather, learning occurs through dialogue and collective social engagement. Furthermore, these experiences are intentionally inclusive, hierarchically flat, and rooted in shared power, authority, and leadership.
The research exploring peer group mentoring indicate that such experiences have resulted in important and positive outcomes for the mentoring collaborators. These include:
- Increased support.
- Boosts in confidence.
- Knowledge acquisition.
- Effective generation of new ideas.
- Successful resolution of challenges and struggles.
- Gaining access to networks resulting in career progression.
- Reductions in feelings of professional isolation due to greater connectivity.
Group Mentoring Best-Practices
Before launching our peer group mentoring experience, it is important to share a number of best-practices. These will serve, in part, as ground-rules and expectations—so that we can have engaging, dynamic, and developmental peer mentoring groups:
Commitment to the Group Mentoring Experience: A sincere and strong commitment to the experience as well as the other collaborators is a cornerstone. Commitment manifests by preparing for the mentoring gatherings, literally showing up to the mentoring gatherings, and engaging productively while at the mentoring gatherings.
Balancing Roles: Group mentoring experiences are such that each collaborator plays both mentoring roles—mentor and mentee. This is a shared learning experience where each participant is recognized as valued and valuable to the growth and development of the others.
Being Vulnerable: Challenge and support are the mechanisms utilized to assist group mentoring collaborators as they work through struggles and accomplish goals. In order for participants to reap the benefits of such an experience, they need to be vulnerable and willingly share struggles and issues.
Respecting Confidentiality: In order for any type of mentoring experience to be effective, respecting confidentiality is essential. The expectation is that each collaborator will diligently keep conversations discussed at a gathering within that circle.