Feb. 24, 2021

Mentor Connection: What is the recipe for successful mentoring relationships and effective leadership development?

Participants in the BMO Mentorship Program continue the conversation on leadership and mentoring through this midpoint event
Mentor Connection

On January 21, mentors and mentees of the BMO Mentorship Program at the Haskayne School of Business connected virtually for the Mentor Connection event. Program participants were invited to connect with Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership in Business (CCAL) Fellow Dr. Cari Din, and Senior Research Associate Duygu Gulseren to dive deeper into leadership and mentoring. The Mentor Connection gave mentors and mentees the opportunity to ask questions to two of CCAL’s researchers, and to share their mentorship success stories and insights with other program participants through breakout room conversations.  

The event kicked off with Duygu Gulseren providing greater insight into evidence-based approaches to effective leadership development. Gulseren went on to highlight that the most effective way for individuals to grow in developing their leadership capabilities is by 1) providing information about leadership 2) demonstrating leadership and 3) providing opportunities for individuals to practice leadership. It is not enough just to provide information about leadership, but it is a multi-method approach that is most effective for leadership development.

Dr. Cari Din followed Gulseren and gave both mentors and mentees insight into evidence-led practices about what is needed from both mentees and mentors to create an effective mentoring experience. Dr. Din touched upon the importance of the mentee creating or co-creating goals for the mentoring relationship. She emphasized that setting some structure to the mentoring relationship early on is important for continued success. Dr. Din explained that the best mentoring relationships happen when the mentor and mentee have a learning mindset, both are open to growth and that they can learn from each other.  

Following both researchers’ ‘food for thought’ piece, mentors and mentees were invited into breakout rooms to connect, share insights and dive deeper into leadership and mentoring. Here is what some participants had to say about their experiences:

  • There was a lot of great insight as to what mentees and mentors get out of the relationship and how much we all have in common despite differences in fields/age/experience.
  • I enjoyed hearing both the theoretical and practical applications of leadership.
  • It was a lot of fun being able to share my knowledge and experience with others!
  • It was interesting to hear about the experiences from other mentor/mentee perspectives.

The Mentor Connection provided an engaging start to the day for the over 75 attendees who joined us from across Canada. This event provided an excellent platform for mentors and mentees to connect virtually to share their mentoring insights and discuss their mentoring experiences with one another. The event ended with a riveting question and answer period where participants were able to ask questions of both Dr. Din and Gulseren. The discussion that followed centered on practicing and developing leadership virtually, how to develop effective mentoring relationship in a digital environment, and how to engage and build rapport with your mentee.

Through the Mentor Connection, mentors and mentees had access to great evidence-based leadership development and mentoring content to take back into their mentoring meetings to discuss further. Participants shared their own perspectives and built upon the foundations laid out from Dr. Din and Gulseren. Mentors and mentees gained tangible and practical suggestions to continue developing and strengthening their mentoring relationship.  The discussions focused on sharing diverse perspectives and experiences with one another, provide encouragement and challenge traditional thinking on mentoring for leadership development. 

This midpoint event is open to all participants in the BMO Mentorship Program and provides a platform for connecting with other participants in the program. Learn more about the mentorship program here.