Mentors understand the value and importance of advancing our professional practices by supporting our professional community. We know that intelligence work is much more than developing a set of hard skills, sources, and methods. It involves sound judgement, intelligence and growth mindsets, engaging with stakeholders, and other practices that require soft skills, experience, and perspectives that take time, effort, and support to develop.
A mentor’s time is also valuable. Our relationships with our mentees should be productive and have impact to our mentees and our practice community. In our complex environments, there is no one-size-fits-all approach for mentors or mentees. The Council offers 4 options within the traditional mentorship model:
- Kick-Starter Conversations: One or two telephone, video conferencing, or email exchanges on a defined topic for which the mentee seeks support.
- Three-Month Mentoring: Short-term mentoring or practice guidance with a volunteer subject matter expert on a specific practice matter or objective.
- Six-Month Mentoring: Medium-term mentoring or practice guidance with a volunteer subject matter expert on one or two practice matters or evolving issue.
- One-Year Mentoring: Traditional, longer-term practice or professional guidance for practitioners who require ongoing support with various aspects of CI professional development.
Our evaluation process considers the needs of mentees and mentors to offer the best match between needs, skills, sectors, and other key dimensions. As you consider becoming a mentor, we encourage you to consider the following:
- Which industry/ies or sector(s), intelligence practice areas, and issues are you prepared to offer guidance?
- How much time can you offer?
- What mentoring time frame (outlined above) are you able to support?
At least for the start of your mentoring relationship, we recommend video conferencing over audio discussions to support non-verbal communication, develop rapport, and facilitate your relationship. Please consider using Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, or other video conferencing platform that work for you and your mentee(s).