The role of Personal Mentor is the key position within the whole Mentoring process. It is the Personal Mentor who imparts his knowledge, spends time with the Candidate, and guides and supports him throughout his initial Masonic journey. By helping him take the correct first crucial steps, you will be guiding him on a path that will change his life, and the lives of those around him, for the better.
The responsibilities of a Personal Mentor are great, but the role is also, in many ways, an easy and enjoyable one. Mentoring is not rocket science. It is simply a process of spending time with and caring for a Candidate exposing him to information in a controlled manner, i.e. small understandable chunks that he can easily digest, whilst making sure he starts to understand what is happening around him. Once he has the basic knowledge, your role will then change from ‘Teacher’ to ‘Mentor’. This may involve some elements of counselling, acting as a confidential advisor and being a role model. These are all things you have done successfully many times before, but you thought of it as friendship.
By its very nature, this role will involve continuous review, as the Personal Mentor and Candidate will be meeting on a regular basis to review progress.
It is the responsibility of the Personal Mentor to give feedback on progress to the Lodge Mentor. This will include how the mentoring relationship is progressing with the Candidate and will contain such points as:
- How often do they meet?
- Have they met after each of the degree ceremonies?
- Does the Candidate make any positive/negative comments about any aspects of the Craft?
- Has the candidate taken part in any ritual or shown interest in doing so?
- Are there any recognisable skills that the Candidate has that may be useful to the Lodge in the future i.e. a head for figures (Treasurer), Compassion (Almoner)?
- Is the Candidate visiting other Lodges?
- Does he attend any social events?
You will have plenty of support both from The Lodge Mentor and the rest of the brethren, for it is in everyone’s interest that you are successful in your role.
You may know of other Mentors in other Lodges and, if so, it will be good to speak to them from time to time, to exchange ideas and best practice. Look out for any training opportunities and workshops that may be available for you to attend in the Province, and keep in close contact with the Lodge Mentor who will be very interested in the progress you are making.
The Personal Mentor should, ideally, be formally introduced to his charge in open Lodge at the end of the Initiation Ceremony, it is, perhaps, also appropriate at this point for the Personal Mentor to be invited to present his candidate with the booklet “Welcome To The Initiate”.
A successful Mentor should be:
- a person with stimulating ideas.
- someone interested in discussing the ideas of others.
- supportive of change – personal, institutional, educational.
- able to adapt to change in time to influence and control future developments.
- able and willing to give time to the relationship to allow it to develop.
- ready to share concerns with other Mentors.
- open, inspiring trust and confidentiality.
- encouraging, helping Candidates to value their own work and development.
- focussed in approach, sharing clear aims, goals or objectives.
- able to inspire confidence.
- deserving respect, but not demanding respect.
- knowledgeable, but not overbearing or pedantic. (No DC’s then!!)