At Diverse Talent Strategies, we teach the importance of building what we refer to as a “Personal Board of Directors” with a broad network of mentors to support your development. In other words, having multiple people to call on for wisdom and perspective. Recognizing that each person you interact with in this program has unique perspectives, experience, and talents and abilities, being intentional and strategic in how you approach these relationships is an incredible way to grow your network, meet new people, and leverage the experience of others to develop more quickly. At a minimum, it is recommended to cultivate mentors in the following categories:
- Peer mentor – A peer mentor is someone who works in a similar role to yours and who does their job exceptionally well. This person can teach you how to effectively develop the competencies needed to perform your current role successfully.
- Someone you look up to / aspire to be more like – This type of mentor is usually someone more experienced and who demonstrates the skills and competencies you wish to develop. Perhaps they have a role you wish to have in the future or they simply embody the qualities and characteristics you wish to develop.
- Career Mentor – This type of mentor can offer strategic advice on how to build your career most effectively. Unlike a career coach who may have a variety of assessment tools and additional resources that will assist in deciding what direction you may wish to go in, a career mentor is usually someone with direct experience in building the kind of career you are interested in successfully and can advise you on next steps based on their experiences.
- Competency-based mentor – This type of mentor is someone who can help you develop specific skills you are wishing to develop. Perhaps you want to be more effective as a public speaker or improve your communication skills. A competency-based mentor is someone who excels in the particular competency you wish to develop and can help teach you to grow in that area.
As you are building your mentoring strategy, it is important to consider the mentors you currently have in each of these categories and think about how you can cultivate additional mentoring relationships based on the types of mentors you are seeking. At Diverse Talent Strategies, we offer formalized mentoring offerings for individuals and companies wishing to promote a mentoring culture. Contact us to learn more!