Peer mentoring is a process where two peers come together and help each other to learn and become better. In this, both the parties have something to contribute. It’s like a give and take relationship where both the parties offer advice to help each other to grow and solve the problems.
Peer mentoring has been in academic institutions for a long time, but many workplaces have started to view it as a good opportunity for employees to learn from each other. In peer mentoring, each individual involved can be both a mentor and a mentee and both the parties are empowered to improve their learning graph. Professionals receive the support they need from their peer from the perspective of a mentor.
Having a peer mentor is advantageous because he/she truly understands the obstacles one is going through and help in solving them in a positive and productive way. Peer mentoring develop organically from the trust-based workplace relationship. Trust is an integral aspect which strengthens the peer mentoring. It creates an open environment where peer feels comfortable with each other and offer constructive feedback about other’s performance, behavior, attitude, etc. This helps colleagues to improve and work better.
In peer mentoring, recipients of feedback are open to advise because they know that other person wants them to succeed.
There are two crucial steps in peer mentoring:
Finding the right mentor/teammate and creating a good relationship with the mentor.
Step 1: Find a good mentor/teammate
Before choosing a teammate, look for someone who shares work experience with you and can offer unique and fruitful perspectives on everyday challenges that you face. It’s important to have a mentor who has a distinctive background and view life from different perspectives. This will help in getting an increased level of exposure to diversity of thoughts.
Honesty is another key aspect that should be there in the mentor. Peers should trust each and should be candid or honest with each other. They should also have similar career goals. So, a good mentor should have a foundation of trust, honesty, respect, and similar career goals and objectives. These factors will make the peer mentorship mutually beneficial.
Step 2: Create a mutual vision
It is important to define the purpose and set the expectations. It will help in setting priorities and meeting them on time. It should be a two-way street which must reflect the goals of both the parties.
It is important to create a future vision of what the mentoring process need to achieve in the future. This will help in giving direction to the mentoring process and will help in bigger goals and career objectives of both the parties involved.
Both parties should also set the boundaries in the starting so that this will create a foundation of trust and will enable both parties to push others to achieve the goal without crossing the line. Having a mutual vision, clearer objectives and boundaries will enable the conversation to get deeper and generate more meaning and will ultimately add value to the mentoring process.