There are a couple ways for Student, Associate and Candidate Registrants to find a mentor!
The First Approach; you can join into our monthly ICMCA Professional Development and social gatherings – on-line and in-person. As you participate and get to know our experienced members you can then approach individuals you may have some affinity towards and ask them yourself. Ask if they would be willing to sponsor, mentor or guide you in advancing your own development and consulting career.
The concept of a Mentor; is that the Mentor is someone that is more experienced than you and is willing to volunteer some of their time to assist you in advancing your career and leadership practices. A Mentor should ideally be someone you already know, but not a close friend. They should also be someone you respect and trust.
Note: Not everyone will feel comfortable being a Mentor, and some will not feel they have the time. As such, you may need to approach more than one person before someone says yes.
Step 1: Before you go to meet with your potential mentor(s) think of about 1 - 3 areas of consulting practice you would like to improve. Also, consider your career direction, and where you would like to go in consulting over the next few years. Make some notes, and clearly organize your thinking.
Step 2: Consider the reasons why you are approaching the individual you would like as a Mentor. Why are you asking for their help? What personal leadership traits or business successes do they have that you hope to benefit from? Write these down also, so that you can explain these to your potential mentor.
Step 3: Arrange for a meeting! Perhaps offer to buy them lunch in return for meeting with you.
Step 4: Meet, then explain your interest in the concept of having a Mentor.
Step 5: Ask for their agreement to be your Mentor.
Step 6: Finally, agree on how often you will meet, and where. Set up a couple of appointments for the next 2-6 weeks to get the relationship going.
Agree on the first area of practice or topic of discussion to be addressed at the next meeting. This will give both of you time to think about things in advance of the next meeting.
2nd Meeting: Address the specific topic or areas of consulting practice, and ask for their honest feedback of your performance. Then discuss what they believe should be worked upon over the next few months, and how you might try out some new behaviors or projects. Also discuss how often you will check-back with them for further guidance.
The Second Approach; is to contact the ICMCA Registrar for their assistance in more formally arranging a mentor for you. ICMCA regularly contacts our certified registrants to ask for senior consultants to volunteer as mentors. Our ability to facilitate mentorship is dependent upon our more experienced members coming forth to volunteer to be mentors. We may not always have mentors available.
Once the Registrar establishes a Mentor – Mentee arrangement, the Mentee should ‘drive’ the process. See the six steps above!