A study conducted in 2012 in collaboration with Étienne St-Jean showed that ongoing mentor training helps improve soft skills and develop an approach more closely aligned with the needs of mentees. Similarly, the study found that continued skills development activities for mentors gave them the tools to constantly sharpen their approach, re-examine their practices and stay on track with Réseau M’s core philosophy.
In an effort to provide effective guidance and leadership , Réseau M has developed a unique lineup of skills development and recognition activities for mentors.
- Introduction to Mentoring – Is Mentoring for Me? (also available in distance learning format)
- Be a Better Mentor
- Broaden Your Mentoring Capabilities
- Mentorship for Social Economy Entrepreneurs (required to be accredited as a social economy mentor)
- Mentoring in a Takeover Scenario (required to be accredited as a mentor for transfers of ownership)
- Group Mentoring (required to be accredited mentor for group mentoring)
- Mentoring and immigrant entrepreneurs
Designed to leverage mentors’ experience to the fullest, these workshops:
- Are a half-day in length
- Feature simulation, role-playing and teamwork activities
- Espouse a dynamic learning strategy that links the desired skills with concrete plans of action
- Use tangible examples from trainers and mentors.
“Transfer of Ownership” accreditation
This accreditation program gives entrepreneurs who have gone through a change of ownership (from either side of the deal) the chance to let others benefit from their experience. The accreditation also lends additional legitimacy to the mentor’s role in a transfer scenario, which can be a considerable benefit in the eyes of other stakeholders, who will then spread the word to their clients.
“Social Economy” accreditation
Because social economy entrepreneurs face a specific set of challenges and difficulties, they stand to benefit greatly from the unique insight of a mentor with experience as an executive or officer of a non-profit organization. This accreditation recognizes entrepreneurs’ skills and experience in the social economy niche, thus bestowing on them an extra level of legitimacy as mentors in this field.
Accreditation for Group Mentors
The “Group Mentoring” course is offered to mentors interested in learning how to facilitate group mentoring sessions for their cell. The course covers what group mentoring is and how to act as a mentor in a group context as well as key concepts for group facilitation.
To qualify for this accreditation program, mentors must belong to a cell where group mentoring is provided and meet the following criteria:
- Open to practicing and retired entrepreneurs;
- Experience starting up a business (currently in operation or not);
- Experience managing one or more employees;
- An active mentor (in a dyad) accredited by Réseau M (compulsory attendance of the introductory workshop “Is Mentoring for Me?”);
- Completion of the Réseau M group mentor workshop;
- Strong group leadership and facilitation skills :
- ACTIVE LISTENING
- Group moderation
- Ability to guide discussions (ask questions, rephrase/clarify statements, provide positive reinforcement, etc.)
- Humility, patience, sense of humour
- Ease in working with Facebook (preferred);
- Availability for group meetings over a one-year period.