We believe in the power of peer-to-peer exchanges as an important venue for lifelong learning. Mentoring circles do not have the same risk of people giving up their power to a mentor. Rather, people participating actively in mentoring circles discover their self-empowerment strengthening. People who attend the workshops want to develop high levels of confidence and mastery with the tools, techniques, and concepts that they have learned. For us, the answer to this desire was these peer-to-peer mentoring circles. Mentoring in this instance is a verb, not a noun. The verb denotes action between the persons involved, assisting each other with knowledge, support, confidence boosting, great questions, challenges, and opportunities. We avoid any tendency to dogma in such mentoring circles, rather the freedom to examine the tools, techniques and concepts, and have experiences and learn…lifelong learning. In mentoring circles, people have the opportunity to grow in their personal power, knowledge, wisdom, and skills…if they so choose. Ah yes, the choice is up to the individual as to what he or she wishes to experience and obtain in the learning journey.
For lifelong learning, when Birgitt Williams and Ward Williams developed the Genuine Contact program, they decided on mentoring circles as one of the eleven components of the Genuine Contact program. As strong advocates of personal empowerment and the value of peer-to-peer mentoring circles, the inclusion of mentoring circles in the Genuine Contact program demonstrated the trust that the wisdom to do what is needed is in the circle of people gathered. This is different from the concept of developing a traditional mentorship program in an organization, easier to organize and sustain, and in the experience of Birgitt and Ward is more effective over the long term for boosting both skills and confidence. Our company, Dalar International Consultancy, Inc. sponsors one annual international Genuine Contact mentoring circle. Throughout the year when we are doing in house corporate workshops, we work to assist people in the corporation to develop an in-house peer-to-peer mentoring circle for continued learning. As well, when we train consultants, leaders, and managers in our public workshops, we recommend and support the formation of Genuine Contact mentoring circles within the geographic area of the participants.
We encourage all graduates of any of our workshops to attend a Genuine Contact mentoring circle on a regular basis, and to create a mentoring circle if there is none taking place nearby. Anyone who graduates from one of the Genuine Contact workshops and wishes to be considered a Genuine Contact professional signs a Standard of Quality statement committing link themselves to ongoing learning including through participation in mentoring circles.
If you are interested in mentoring and coaching training please click here to go to the workshop page.