Sharing of Knowledge and Mentorship
One of the most desired approaches of learning and development is sharing of knowledge and mentorship. Professionals are often driven towards discovering and adopting new ways in learning and development which contributes towards successful knowledge transfer.
Mentoring is used by organizations and institutions to facilitate various objectives such as career development, training and on-boarding and successful knowledge transfer from the mentor to the mentee. Due to recent shifts in the working environment, mentoring is viewed differently from other traditional approaches of one to one sessions to an advanced partnership in mentoring hence creating a wider social network. Some of the new types of mentoring can be named as; distance mentoring, team mentoring, peer mentoring which can be grouped with peer assessments and mentoring circles including regular meetings to discuss and learn in an engaging environment and distance mentoring which uses communication tools such as e-mails and video conferences counted as sessions.
Mentoring is the most effective form of learning since it involves an expert passing down their guidance, giving practical tasks under supervision which may include assignments, formal or informal trainings and assessments to formulate mentoring into a complete session for the mentee and gain the most out of it.
A mentor is considered a very responsible figure in the whole process of learning and development which takes mentoring into practice. Apart from being a professional and an authoritative figure, a mentor should possess some basic qualities including;
- A mentor should have personal experience of being a mentee and later a mentor which gives him/her an edge over others to understand the process better comparatively.
- The culture, processes and procedures of the organization/institute should be understood and taken into consideration every time a decision needs to be taken.
- They should have a desire to dedicate their time towards guiding and teaching the person in place as a mentee.
- The tools of communication should be chosen smartly to avoid barriers to communication. Also, some level of comfort must be maintained for effective communication.
- A mentor should also allow the mentee to gain personal development through assessment and periodic tasks which may also act as a motivator for them.
Traditional mentoring and mentoring for knowledge is different. Although both the programs are measured real time and have structured mentoring plans, visual commitment of leaders is due at all times. Mentoring and leadership go together in terms of communication related to the program, reporting in the organization and the overall participation of the program as well. Training is also mandatory as it is critical to the investment when yielding for real time returns.
However, traditional mentorship and mentoring for knowledge may also be different in some areas. Throughout traditional mentorship, the focus is to develop the person and their personality traits but during knowledge transfer, the prime focus may only be directed towards transferring knowledge about anything.
The most visible difference between traditional mentoring and knowledge sharing is the presence and matching of personalities. During knowledge transfer personality, gender or any other trait is not of importance to the person seeking and the person sharing their knowledge but the only thing that needs to match is the level of understanding in terms of knowledge between the two.
This short term relationship may serve greater needs of the organization/institution. Using technological solutions is a better idea since software solutions offer greater support. By connecting to various mentors, a wider pool of support is available for the mentee. It is a beneficial social learning platform which offers tools and resources to set goals, alter processes, include variants and create and track events and activities during the mentorship programs.
Mentorship creates a better learning and development cycle which allows the employees to be participative in a structured process and achieve growth in their personal career while keeping in view the organization’s goals and processes. Therefore, a mentorship program with a combination of knowledge sharing can benefit the performance of individuals involved.