October 30, 2012 – Maytree Foundation
“It was very informative, an excellent session to improve knowledge on mentoring options…” – participant
Group Mentoring is an effective and efficient model where one mentor supports a group of mentees. Within the Professional Immigrant Networks (PINs) program, a number of networks have successfully piloted this model, based on both professional and ethnocultural background.
On October 30, 2012, TRIEC held a Learning Exchange workshop for network leaders in order to introduce Group Mentoring to a wider audience.
The session was both in-person and online (simultaneous webcast), with 12 individuals from ten associations representing four provinces across Canada learning about how to implement this unique mentoring model.
Debroy Chan – Manager, Mentoring Services, JVS Toronto
Farah Alizadehahi – Mentoring Coach, Mentoring Services, JVS Toronto
Nestor Perez – Mentoring Coordinator, Association of Filipino Canadian Accountants (AFCA)
Debroy and Farah presented the Group Mentoring model and its four pillars:
- Program planning
- Mentor and mentee intake processes
- Orientation, Training, Support
- Monitoring and Evaluation.
Every aspect is integral for a successful program. Each aspect is also detailed in the Group Mentoring Handbook (see resources below) which contains helpful tools, resources and forms for mentors, mentees and Mentorship coordinators.
Debroy and Farah emphasized that a solid orientation is key in this model because it sets the tone for the entire mentoring process. Scheduling of regular meetings and addressing expectations ensure that both mentors and mentees understand their responsibilities throughout the mentoring relationship.
Nestor, a seasoned mentor in the sector-specific group mentoring program with the Association of Filipino Canadian Accountants (AFCA), shared some of his experiences from his role as a Mentorship Coordinator. He highlighted that the key to a successful program was in part due to the selection of the right mentors and mentees. Furthermore, establishing clear objectives and expectations for both mentors and mentees are also important, as well as being flexible in the approach and format used. The management of multiple mentees can be a challenge and life circumstances can also change for participants so flexibility within the program is essential.
Group mentoring is a practical model to use especially for organizations and groups with a large membership base, limited resources and spread across a large geographical area (i.e. Greater Toronto area). This model has been particularly successful for professional immigrant networks and can easily be modified to be applied in other mentorship programs.
- Allow for flexibility in meeting times to accomodate various schedules
- Share positive feedback for moth mentee and mentor, as individuals in both roles learn from one another
- This model can be replicated in various contexts (sector-specific mentoring, youth mentoring, ethno-culturally based group mentoring etc.)