“Older women likewise are to be…teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women”
Based on the founding partners’ personal convictions, IseeU has adopted a mentoring as opposed to a training model. At this point it is worth looking at the definition of mentoring. We refer to a comprehensive definition quoted on the Sacramento State University website (www.csus.edu).
What is Mentoring
Mentoring is a power-free partnership between two individuals who desire mutual growth. One of the individuals usually has greater skills, experiences, and wisdom (Weinstein, 1998).
- Mentoring is a journey that requires perseverance
- Mentoring includes helping mentoring partners to determine their priorities, uncover their passions, and honestly address their pain.
- Mentoring concentrates on the needs of the one being mentored, not on the agenda of the mentor.
- Mentoring focuses on changing people from the inside out, not the outside in.
- Mentoring involves the spiritual side of a person, not just the physical, mental, and emotional aspects.
- Mentoring is one of the best ways to have a significant personal impact on society, even for generations.
(Source: The Heart of Mentoring, Stoddard, D., 2003)
This same source provides us with a helpful profile of the ideal mentor:
A mentor is someone who…
- is a friend, adviser, coach, role model, guide and sponsor.
- is above all available and makes the time commitment to the mentoring partner.
- is able to establish a trusting relationship.
- has the ability to empower the mentoring partner.
- has the ability to honor the mentoring partner’s autonomy.
- encourages the mentoring partner’s development of supportive relationships with peers [and other relevant stakeholders].
- has the ability to tap into organizational networks and opportunities available.
As the above definitions indicate, being a mentor is not rocket science. At IseeU we believe that mentoring is primarily a commitment – to show up regularly and share your insights and life experience with the mentee, with a view to inspiring her to look at herself honestly and in doing so, pursue her purpose. We have chosen to do this in the context of group mentoring which combines the models of peer mentoring and individual (or senior) mentoring. The mentor is usually senior (in age and or experience) to the mentees and, therefore, facilitates the group. The mentees are typically peers who benefit from the group dynamic in various ways such as group cohesion and belonging, and a strong group identity – all very important considerations in the teen phase.
At IseeU our mentors are there to guide, coach and cheerlead our mentees as they explore and prepare for the next phase of life. As part of this process we connect them to people and potential opportunities, growing their social capital and soft skill set. This is what we do – a profound privilege and a source of perpetual pleasure.