Rhyze Academy: Mentoring Women Entrepreneurs
October 31, 2016
I recently signed up to be a mentor with the Rhyze Academy. At first I hesitated because an earlier experience with a mentoring program wasn’t entirely positive.
I am so glad I did because this time the experience has been completely different.
The mentoring relationship began with an assessment of how mentees and mentors seek and interpret knowledge, and how we apply that knowledge and share it with others. A careful matchmaking process ensured that a mentee and their mentor were similar enough to get on the same page quickly but different enough to be able to bring something new to the conversation.
Introduction to mentoring
Next was a series of on-line learning modules that covered:
- the role of the mentor and mentee
- how to ask great questions
- how to share your experience through great storytelling
- setting clear boundaries, expectations and goal setting for the mentoring relationship
Asking questions is particularly important to mentoring. They should encourage the mentee to go deeper, broader and in different directions to help them reveal new possibilities.
Even our first meeting had a template to get us off to a great start.
I have been matched with a brilliant woman entrepreneur. Our conversations are inspiring and I eagerly anticipate our next meeting. The experience has also sparked thoughts about another role I play as a director of a financial institution.
A new governance practice is emerging for corporate directors. We are increasingly being asked to play a generative role at board and committee meetings in addition to our traditional fiduciary and strategic roles. This is a tricky role to execute – we are neither coach nor manager. However, there is a similarity to the role of a mentor – asking questions in a way that encourage an executive team to go more deeply and broadly on an issue or to think about it from an entirely different perspective.
My mentoring experience with the Rhyze Academy so far is just further proof that Action Changes Things (ACT).