Across the country, we are engaging in crucial conversations about race and privilege with the goal of increasing awareness and causing permanent change in our society. It is incredibly important to listen openly and earnestly in order to better both our personal and professional selves.
I have spent a large part of my career researching mentoring, discovering the incredible benefits that come to those who form healthy diverse mentorships as either mentee or mentor.
We often think of mentorships as professional relationships. However, I frequently discuss the benefits of having a network of both personal and professional mentors.
While both types of mentoring relationships can provide great value, a personal mentoring relationship can provide a timely and critical perspective: that of a black mentor and a non-black mentee. This relationship can help the mentee learn how to best listen, support and advocate for black people during this crucial time in history.
Mentors and mentees alike see great benefits by engaging in diverse mentorships, whether it be differences in gender, race or age. In my LinkedIn Learning course titled “Being a Good Mentee,” I not only discuss these benefits, but I also give tips for creating successful diverse mentor relationships. For example, I suggest acknowledging the differences and prejudices that exist due to the diversity between you and your mentor. These differences should not be hidden, rather embraced and recognized.