Mentoring is all the rage, and with good reason. In a productive mentoring relationship, mentor and protegé reap many benefits, from the sharing of personal and professional experiences, to contributing to a vibrant and confident future generation, to providing rewarding professional development opportunities.
Mentoring is occurring in a variety of circumstances and configurations and has become standard practice in most professional environments in Canada, including sport. Writing in the eighth issue of the Journal, Dru Marshall clarifies what mentoring is and describes the qualities mentors and protegés need for a successful relationship. She analyses the many types of mentoring, explains options around the structure and the duration of the relationship, and describes the various types of mentors.
In examining the role of facilitated mentoring, which is widely used in Canada's coaching environment, Dru draws attention to the highly successful mentoring initiatives of the Women in Coaching program, including the most recent innovation, the Online Mentor Program. She points out how the traditional reluctance of experienced women to serve as mentors and the dearth of qualified women coaches is creating a human resource dilemma in this country. And while she cautions that mentors may not be able to solve every problem, she maintains that under the right circumstances, they are a reliable and valuable expert source of potential solutions.
Her conclusion? Mentoring can be a boon to Canada's developing women coaches. The watchword should be flexibility accompanied by careful matching of mentor with protegé.
~ Sheila Robertson
The "Women in Coaching" section of the Coaching Association of Canada's web site is also a great resource and has information on the Online Mentoring Program.