From time to time I come across valuable books, articles, videos and other resources which educate, inform and inspire. I will list them here along with a note about what I think is worthwhile about the item and how to order or access the item.
Different from a traditional non-fiction how-to book on mentoring, the authors (Dr. Lois Zachary and Lory Fischler), who are long-time mentoring experts, use the form of a fable to describe the journey of a mentor and a mentee. Within the fable are embedded best practices of mentoring, as well as tips to avoid common pitfalls. Each chapter concludes with questions for mentees and mentors, allowing a perfect forum for readers to reflect and discuss.
The authors outline the key components of a successful mentoring relationship by highlighting six essential mentoring conversations that include building trust, establishing a comfort zone, holding productive meetings, dealing with power dynamics, setting goals, and maintaining momentum.
The second portion of the text is dedicated to a mentoring conversation playbook that highlights strategies for quality conversations to support mentors and mentees establish a strong mentoring connection.
The book is STARTING STRONG: A MENTORING FABLE. It is available through Amazon.com here.
A new book by Debby Carreau attempts to debunk myths of mentoring. Her main target is the idea that finding a mentor and sitting at the mentor’s feet while the mentor distributes gems of wisdom is not only a myth but also interferes with self-development. The author says, “Find a mentor: this is often the beginning and the end of advice for professionals looking to grow their career. I have worked in human resources for more than two decades, and never has there been such an emphasis on mentoring as there is now. In my view, “mentor” is among the most overused buzzwords in the workplace today.”
The book is THE MENTOR MYTH: HOW TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR OWN SUCCESS. It is available through Amazon.com here.
A great magazine that features articles on mental health, many of which are written by people with lived experience, is Visions: BC’s Mental Health and Addictions Journal. The award-winning magazine is published quarterly and is one of the best forums for the voices of people experiencing mental health or substance use difficulties. Contributors also include experienced practitioners and researchers. Subscriptions are free to people who live in British Columbia and are $25/year for those outside BC. More details about the magazine and subscriptions are available here.
Lunsford, L.G. (2016). A handbook for managing mentoring programs: Starting, supporting and sustaining effective mentoring. New York: Routledge.
This book is organized into four parts: understanding mentoring; developing mentoring programs that work; enriching and strengthening the processes; and assessing program success. It includes case studies drawn mostly from higher education and through the author’s experience working with dysfunctional mentoring programs as well as her experience as director of a university professional development mentoring program. The purpose of the book is to help readers who may be in the position of mentor program manager or coordinator to make evidence-based decisions for mentoring programs. Some of the research in the book draws upon youth development and positive psychology and the ideas about mentor program development will be useful to not just adult-to-adult mentoring programs (in universities and businesses), but also to those involved in youth-based programs where high-quality relationships are necessary and when adults are the primary source of mentors. The author believes that the principles she identifies transcend the specific context of mentoring whether the reader is working with youth or adults. The format of the book is designed to encourage readers to think about what makes sense for their individual mentoring program as compared to seeking a prescriptive list of “must do” activities. (The only element missing in this book is that she does not include Peer Resources as a resource for mentoring.)