Image credit: Shannon Lough
Earlier this year I was honoured to participate in a fireside Q & A with Hawkair President Jay Dilley at the North Coast Women in Business meeting: The Importance of Mentors. Here are some highlights from our discussion.
JD: We hear a lot about mentoring today, but what is it mentoring?
JL: It’s a relationship between two individuals who both have an interest in seeing the mentee develop and achieve their goals. To me it’s a relationship where an individual provides support and encouragement to another in their personal development by sharing what they’ve learned through their experiences.
“The great thing is that each mentorship is different and you do what is right for you.”
JD: What kinds of mentors are there?
JL: In my experience they can be formal or informal, and you can receive mentorship from different sources. A mentor from inside your organisation will be able to provide insight to the unique characteristics and facets of your particular industry. You also gain access to their network which can boost your ability to make valuable connections.
Working in the aviation industry which is relatively small in Canada to begin with, and unfortunately with very few female leaders. I’ve been lucky enough to receive mentorship from accomplished women not only outside of my organisation but outside of my industry entirely. What I learned from this experience is that external mentors can offer a completely different perspective, a chance for candid discussions without the bias that might come from a colleague within your organisation or industry.
The great thing is that each mentorship is different and you do what is right for you. It depends on what both individuals want to get out of the mentorship and how much time they are willing to commit. The most important thing is that both the mentor and mentee set clear expectations and commitments to ensure that the relationship is healthy and productive and to prevent disappointment. A Mentoring Agreement is a great way to outline a framework and establish goals.
Tell us what you think! Have you been in a mentorship? What do you think about the importance of mentorship? I’d love to hear!