Despite the notion that mentoring has to be conducted through face-to-face interaction, group mentoring is emerging as a viable training and development strategy across various organizations. For small scale organizations or start ups, group mentoring can be a time-saver and valuable resource. On top of that, group mentoring is a great method for distributing educational and strategically planned mentoring programs to a large number of people.
In this two-part series, we’ll give you an idea of what group mentoring looks like, explain the benefits, and help you devise a plan for implementing effective group mentoring. (Read Part 2 here!)
So what exactly is group mentoring?
If you're familiar with mastermind groups, you can think of group mentoring in a similar way. Group mentoring entails interaction between mentors and mentees in a group setting. The collective gathering allows organizations to extend the benefits of mentoring to larger groups, exposing both mentors and mentees to a wider range of interaction, and thereby broadening the horizons of mentoring relations. Group mentoring exposes employees to a variety of learning opportunities, as well as promotes knowledge sharing and unity of behavior across the organization.
Why start with group mentoring?
Group mentoring can be a good method for introducing the structure and goals of mentoring to employees. It can also serve as a way to improve upon the disadvantages of individual mentoring. The advantages of group mentoring include:
- Productive use of resources: By combining the skills and insights of many, group mentoring reduces the cost of time, money, and resources for the organization.
- Diversity: Group mentoring provides a diverse setting that brings together different cultures and perspectives. Mentors and mentees have the advantage of working with and learning from individuals with varied backgrounds, skill-sets, and emotions. This makes group mentoring all the more challenging, and that much more rewarding.
- Training method: Group mentoring is often defined as a classroom training method. It’s the only form of mentoring through which you can train and develop your workforce as a team.
- Junior mentoring: Younger mentees are most comfortable among peers who share their concerns and struggles. Group mentoring allows communication through collaboration and activity. This kind of environment is apt for youth mentoring where young mentees won’t feel pressured or singled out. Instead, they are able to learn together and from each other to grow in their careers.
- Defining mentoring needs: Everyone learns differently, and despite the advantages of group mentoring, some employees will benefit more from one-on-one guidance. Group mentoring will allow you to determine which mentees thrive in a group setting and which ones would gain more from a one-on-one mentorship, thus helping you place employees in the programs they are best suited for.
Check in on Thursday for the second part of Group Mentoring 101, and learn how to implement an effective group mentoring program at your organization.
MentorCloud works with top leaders, business professionals, senior employees, and group mentors to create best practices for group mentoring within your organization. Get in touch with us if you recognize group mentoring to be what your team needs to excel.
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