Mentoring » Introduction to mentoring What is Mentoring? Mentoring is a process by which more experienced members give their time, attention, knowledge, guidance, insights and advice. For new members, this helps them to get started in Agora. For them, the whole Agora world can be a bit overwhelming and they may not know where to begin or how to integrate into the community. Mentors provide guidance in four fundamental areas: The Agora Platform - They help new members to navigate their way through the different Agora systems - chat, forums, social media channels, club management, etc. Club Culture - They explain to new members how their club works, what specific cultural aspects and traditions exist, how to ask for help, how to sign up for roles. They introduce the new member to the non-Agora social activities of the club (e.g.: fellowship, get-togethers, parties), etc. The Agora Educational Program - How the educational program is structured, where to find the educational projects, how to correctly perform the different roles, advice on the initial projects. The Agora Worldwide Community - How the club integrates into the worldwide Agora community, what contests and multi-club events exist, regional and international convention information, etc. Support the new member to achieve their particular objectives in the club. Why Mentor? Mentoring is one of the most effective techniques for learning a skill in a short period of time. According to Sir Ken Robinson (British author, speaker and international advisor on education in the arts to government, non-profits, education and arts bodies), mentors provide four basic roles:Recognition - ‘Mentors recognize the spark of interest or delight and can help an individual drill down to the specific components of the discipline that match that individual’s capacity and passion…’Encouragement- ‘Mentors lead us to believe that we can achieve something that seemed improbable or impossible to us before we met them. They don’t allow us to succumb to self-doubt for too long or the notion that our dreams are too large for us. They stand by to remind us of the skills we already possess and what we can achieve if we continue to work hard…’Facilitating -‘Mentors can help lead us… by offering us advice and techniques, paving the way for us, and even allowing us to falter a bit while standing by to help us recover and learn from our mistakes…’ Stretching - ‘Effective mentors push us past what we see as our limits. Much as they don’t allow us to succumb to self-doubt, they also prevent us from doing less with our lives than we can. A true mentor reminds us that our goal should never be to be ‘average’ at our pursuits…’ A Mentor: Has already walked the same path that you're starting - they know what works and what doesn't. They've already made mistakes that you could learn from without the pain of experiencing them yourself. Has already created a network of contacts. This is especially important if you're choosing a mentor for your community project. A mentor can introduce you to some key people that can open doors for you. Will push you to stay on course and to be consistent, creating a habit. Greatly increases your chances of success. Will provide you honest and unbiased advice about your speech or project. Since you're not paying the mentor anything, he owes you nothing and doesn't need to put up with things he considers are wrong.