Multiplying Mentors

It was a privilege to spend some time with Les Scarborough at the Mentoring Network conference in Sydney and hear him again share his passion for multiplying mentors in the Australian Christian community.  Following is a slightly developed version of Les’ vision.




A1.  Mentoring needs to be modelled to others who experience mentoring and learn how to mentor through observing it happen in intentional exposure.

A2. Mentors need to be trained.  Nothing can ultimately replace an intentional process of training.  This occurs in a supportive community of mentors who are learning together.  The best adult learning environment is an action – reflection process.  Learn what you need, do it, come back to reflect on what has been learnt and might need to be reshaped.  A process like this may take several years of equipping with periodic training sessions but is ultimately much more effective in producing capable mentors than a one off training program with no follow up.

A3.  Supervision.  Mentors need to be able to talk through their learning, their issues with mentoring processes and their challenges with those they mentor.  Supervision is a critical learning process and also important as an ongoing discipline of healthy leadership practice.

When these three are in place the first generation is in place.  This is essentially adding more mentors.

Multiplication does not occurred though until we begin to think strategically about identifying some of the trained mentors as those who have the capacity and calling to begin to train others.  The process then repeats at the training level.

B1. Modelling training.  Trainers need to enable those who will learn to be trainers to understand the dynamics of effective education through experiencing it and observing it.

B2. Trainers need to be intentionally trained again through an action reflection process.  What better way than to get them equipping their own group of mentors and supporting, resourcing and reflecting with them as they train and supervise a group.

B3.  Trainers encounter a whole new set of issues as they model, teach and supervise others.  This requires a new level of supervision as trainers.

When trainers are fully equipped and are actively training others we have multiplication occurring.  The original person now has people being equipped and trained who they may never have met.  This is the second generation.  There is a third level which ultimately makes the multiplication a strategic transformational process.

C1. Modelling multiplication.  This is demonstrating the ability to train the first generation trainers to themselves identify and equip their own trainers.  Again experiencing this personally and observing it occur in others lives is critical.

C2. Training multipliers. Here the conviction and ability to equip people with the skills and strategic thinking to train a second generation of trainers needs to be imparted.  Balancing the right amount of process and content while giving freedom to adapt and personalise the material is critical.  Training at this level is about letting people go while giving them the vision, strategic skills and resources to shape the future as they feel called.

C3. Supervise multipliers.  People committed to multiplication need to constantly revisit the process and content of their training and equipping.  This needs supervision.  When the skills and conviction are embedded,  There is only one thing for the original visionary to do.

Let the multiplier fly free and get out of the road.

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