During my 45-year career in financial services, I was a mentor and a mentee many times. Taking the time to be a mentor and to be mentored was important because everyone benefitted from my doing so—me, the person I was mentoring or being mentored by and the organizations we served.
To write this article, I researched what mentoring is and what it can accomplish. I recalled mentoring programs that we implemented at the MECU, the credit union I led for a long time before retiring. And I asked for and included feedback from people who were part of mentoring relationships with me.
Scholarly Perspective on Mentoring
Formally defined, mentoring is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career or professional development. According to this article by Caela Farren, Ph.D., mentoring entails informal communication, usually face-to-face and during a sustained period, between a person perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom or experiences (the mentor) and a person perceived to have less (the protégé).
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