ConnectUs Canada

ConnectUs Canada Mobilizing Mentoring

Co-Authored by
: Donna Messer & Akela Peoples

About Donna Messer…

Donna MesserDonna Messer is an author, speaker and facilitator, an inspiring and passionate motivator, who has addressed thousands of people on three continents. A former broadcast journalist, and the author of more than 4,000 articles, that have been published in magazines and newspapers around the world. She has played a critical and active role in introducing mentoring and networking training to the curriculum of colleges and universities throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. She serves on the Executive Board for Women in International Trade and Chairs Women in Food Industry Management. She volunteers her time to support charities directed towards improving the status of women of all ages. In her spare time, she reads, writes and edits BusinessWoman Canada magazine. Donna has been 'Woman of the Year', Entrepreneur of the Year and Woman on the Move. She has more than 25,000 subscribers to her on-line publication called The Connector. Donna can be reached at

About Akela Peoples…

Akela PeoplesAkela Peoples is Executive Director and co-founder of Youth in Motion, a successful not-for-profit organization that has outreached to more than 35,000 youth in the past 5 years through more than 75 conferences and career events. Akela, who has her Master’s Degree in Education Administration, has been featured on television, radio and in newspapers nationally because of her expertise in career program design and delivery. She has successfuly launched 5 career mentoring programs and two Canadian national conferences on mentoring. In 2002, Akela was honoured with the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for Entrepreneurship. She was the youngest recipient ever to receive this award. Akela can be reached at


Click here to read Mobilizing Mentoring


Excerpt from the book…

11 Tips to “BE” an Effective Mentor

1. Be there: Commit to mentally “being there” when you are together or when you are communicating with your protégé. Don’t think about other things when you are with your protégé. (Avoid the tendency to think about work, family or personal pressures) This above all else will “make or break” the way your relationship unfolds.

2. Be open: Share “yourself” with your protégé—the personal you, not just the professional you. Tell your protégé about your career path, personal attributes, dreams, personal goals, strengths, include areas of improvement you are working on.

3. Be genuine: Early in the relationship, share information about who you are, family background, how you got to where you are, and what is important to you. Be sure to let
your protégé know about your challenges as well as your successes. Be real. If they know that you aren’t perfect either, they may be able to relate to you better. Try to break
down barriers and bridge gaps early in your relationship by being real. You are a role model, not a superwoman.

4. Be supportive: Remember that you are not expected to be a social worker. You are a supportive, encouraging friend.

5. Be professional: Establish a professional tone to your phone calls, email and personal communication. Avoid inappropriate conversations on topics such as sex, religion and politics.

6. Be timely: Respond promptly. Nothing disheartens a young person more than a non-response. You should discuss with your protégé what to expect in terms of response times. Convey that you will respond within a given time period. This will give your protégé a benchmark and will provide a level of confidence when it comes to communicating. Ask for the same in return.

7. Be aware: Model positive behaviour and attitudes. You are a role model for your protégé. Let your protégé know what you feel are the essential skills for success in life.

8. Be adaptive: Be prepared to switch roles—be open to learning from your protégé.

9. Be collaborative: Connect with others who mentor, collaborate with them, share resources and sources of information. You can learn from each other.

10. Be responsive: Resolve problems immediately, follow through on what you say you will do (remember you are role modelling!) and don’t let communications break down.

11. Be happy and have fun! Giving back warms the heart. Make the best of whatever situation you are presented with. There is always more than one way to enjoy life!

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Close your eyes. Relax and walk with me through that forest. Take the time to experience the forest, tell me, what does it look like?
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