Facilitating Leadership Development Through Management MentoringJuly 26, 2019
Growing leadership expertise in a short period of time within an organization is a continuous challenge. The speed of projects and the increasing need for innovation has resulted in some quick promotions. These promotions can leave individuals in management positions with little to no experience or expertise.
How will new managers learn and adapt? The answer is leadership development.
Leadership development strategies are often put in place by managers, but that doesnít exclude them as participants. By learning leadership skills from those that have previous experience, managers are exposed to hands-on style learning. This level of leadership development should be facilitated through management mentoring.
A mentor has experience, knowledge, and skills and is able and willing to share this information with a mentee. We have learned that under the direction of a mentor, the mentee is given access to valuable insights and past experiences.
While not necessary, oftentimes the mentor is an individual within the organization that has more experience or a higher position. This is great for facilitating leadership development within new managers. Mentors have previously experienced what the new manager is going through and will have good insight to help them become successful.
What makes management mentoring different from regular training is speed. Like we discussed, speed is a vital aspect of quick leadership development. The direct knowledge that mentoring offers managers allows them to learn at the necessary pace to be successful leaders.
Like traditional mentoring, management mentoring is not limited to formal mentoring sessions. To include even managers that donít want full-time mentors, alternative versions of mentoring can be implemented simultaneously. For instance, organizations can host speed mentoring events to include all individuals.
Management mentoring can also facilitate types of modern mentoring such as reverse mentoring. Allowing your new or young managers to mentor older managers to leaders takes traditional mentorships to a new level. It also facilitates further knowledge sharing and employee engagement.
Leadership mentoring for managers is one of the most cost-effective and efficient tools an organization has for employee development. This allows for widespread career development strategizing and increased employee engagement. It also makes a great tool for succession planning.
Leadership mentoring as a succession planning strategy in addition to new manager learning can be very useful. Preparing high-potential individuals to move up within the organization will prevent reactive development and allow a smoother transition into leadership. It can also be used to get current managers ready to move into higher leadership positions.
Benefits for Managers
Management mentoring relationships benefit mentees by providing them:
- Individualized attention from the mentor, who has a great deal of knowledge and experience. They also often have a degree of success and respect within the organization.
- Direct information and experiences from the mentor. This build a degree of confidence through guidance, assistance, and support.
- Specifically tailored developmental activities that allow them the ability to take risks, display skills and competencies, and reinforce self-confidence
- The ability to practice learning in their own job position. A mentor can illustrate how specific learning transfers to actual experiences on the job.
- A champion to provide clear direction to positions in the organization that match the interest, skills, and competencies of the mentee.
Management mentoring also helps managers by providing them this knowledge on their time. Scheduling conflicts are common within training sessions. These conflicts can be eliminated in mentoring relationships because the schedule is focused on the mentee.
When the learning is happening on the managerís time, engagement increases as well. They set the date, and usually sessions last an hour or less. This means that distractions that often arise during long training sessions are minimized.
But most of all, management mentoring uses internal talent and creates a true learning organization. Individuals are responsible for the learning and development of each other and the knowledge sharing. This can be accomplished with a minimum disruption to an individualís job, projects, assignments, or responsibilities.
Using technology for leadership mentoring makes program management much easier. Mentoring software allows program administrators to track participants and report their progress. This is especially important when mentoring new managers for leadership development. Their progress can be reported to higher-ups to prove their success in their new roles.
Mentoring software can also be used by mentors and mentees to track goals, schedule sessions, and communicate information. All the mentoring program information centralized in one location makes program administration simple.