We understand that sometimes our new members, or newly-enrolled certification candidates, need a little advice, suggestions, guidance, and maybe even an occasional shoulder to lean on. Even in this day of advanced communication, it’s possible to feel a bit disconnected when learning and practicing in the birthing field, especially when face-to-face learning and participation plays such a big role in becoming a childbirth educator or doula. Your suggestions and comments regarding the need for experienced educators and doulas passing their wisdom on has played a large part in our decision to start this program.
Would you be willing to…
- Understand that living is about giving?
- See mentoring as a process that requires perseverance?
- Open your world to your mentoring partners?
- Help mentoring partners align passion and work?
- Comfort and share another’s load?
- Turn personal values into practice?
- Model character?
- Affirm the value of spirituality?
- Recognize that Mentoring + Reproduction = Legacy?
- Go for it?!
If you answered YES! to the above questions (based on an excerpt from The Heart of Mentoring by David A. Stoddard), then we invite you to become an ICEA mentor. As a mentor you would serve as a resource person to a new member and be available for emailing or phone calls. As a mentor, your contact information will be made available on the ICEA website, organized by pathway (childbirth educator, labor doula, etc.) and geographic location. When you have taken on as many mentoring candidates as you wish to mentor, you can take your name off the list. You would also have the ability to post or remove your contact information on the ICEA website.
What are the qualities of a good mentor?
Ten Powerful Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential
Excerpted from The Heart of Mentoring by David A. Stoddard
- Effective mentors understand that living is about giving.
- Effective mentors see mentoring as a process that requires perseverance.
- Effective mentors open their world to their mentoring partners
- Effective mentors help mentoring partners align passion and work.
- Effective mentors are comforters who share the load.
- Effective mentors help turn personal values into practice.
- Effective mentors model character.
- Effective mentors affirm the value of spirituality.
- Effective mentors recognize that Mentoring + Reproduction = Legacy.
- Effective mentors go for it!
While ICEA would never want to hinder your mentoring relationship, it might be helpful if we establish a few guidelines. Here are some thoughts on establishing and maintaining a mentoring relationship:
- You meet as long as the mentoring partner keeps coming back. The best partners are great learners and if they remain teachable and coachable, you want to be there for them. You are working with emerging leaders and hopefully, future mentors!
- You only schedule one meeting at a time. If you don’t schedule meetings far into the future, it reinforces the understanding that there is no long-term commitment, and both parties are free to stop at any time without feelings of obligation or guilt for not going on.
- You can end before you start. Occasionally, it might become apparent that the mentoring partner, and not the mentor, has a hidden agenda. It could be that he or she wants help in finding a job or is trying to make a sale. While networking to achieve such objectives is common, that is not the purpose of mentoring. I end it as soon as possible. Agendas – on either side – are not acceptable.
- Like-mindedness or like-heartedness between mentor and mentoring partner is essential. If we do not share the same common interest or purpose – to grow and to learn together – effective mentoring cannot take place.
- Mentors choose their partners, not vice versa. The mentor exercises the choice of whether to mentor someone, because time and energy are limited. It’s okay to say no, for whatever reason.
- Meetings should become less frequent over time. Even in long-term mentoring, you don’t continue to meet at the same frequency. Early on, important ongoing issues may call for getting together every week, possibly more often than that. But as the mentoring partner’s life begins to change, reducing dependence upon the mentor, the need to meet as often diminishes. I like to periodically ask the question, “Do we still need to meet?” If not, now is as good a time as any to find out.
In mentoring, it’s important to keep our expectations low and simply to be available to help the partners pursue their own objectives. Our only expectation should be for their personal growth, but even then we can’t control how they grow. Mentors can inspire, encourage, raise questions, and facilitate learning; but they cannot change people. Ultimately, their motivation has to come from within.
Become A Mentor
If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please CLICK HERE to complete the sign-up form. If you have questions about the mentoring program, please contact ICEA at firstname.lastname@example.org.