Recently I conducted a training session with a new group of pairs. At the mentor training I had a former mentoree who made the following comment:
"You know when I was first matched with my mentor I couldn't understand why we were matched as she came from a different area of the organization and we didn't seem to have much in common. But as our relationship developed we found we had a lot more in common than we thought and we have a great relationship that still continues today."
I share this with you because I often get comments like these and I also frequently get asked about these types of matches. In many cases we do pair people from the same discipline but not always. Sometimes for purposes of breaking down silo mentality and creating connections throughout the organization, we do the opposite and match from different disciplines. We have a two-fold philosophy as to why we do that:
- We believe that it is the quality of the relationship that matters and not so much the content.
- We believe that a mentor need not have all the expertise a mentoree is seeking as a mentor should be able to help a mentoree to network and get that expertise.
So if you are a mentor or mentoree who is matched with someone outside your discipline, see it as an opportunity to learn new things and share a different experience.
Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/graphicgreg/