A movement is afoot in the training field to tailor teaching to the way learners learn. It’s getting traction in agencies across government.
Miguel Joey Aviles, the chief learning officer at Young Government Leaders, told In Depth with Francis Rose recently that his organization is using different strategies to tailor its classes to students’ needs.
Most of Aviles’ experience is working with millennials. While some people might think that group would prefer taking virtual classes, he said the vast majority of them prefer taking face-to-face classes. This includes those involved in YGL’s mentoring program.
“Our experience is that the virtual requirements are more when the class is offered from other states or if the person is located in the field,” Aviles said. “But, if we have the capability offering face-to-face interaction, participants really enjoy that.”
YGL’s mentorship program is in the second year of a partnership with the Senior Executives Association, pairing YGL members with more seasoned SES members.
“One of the things that makes a successful mentorship program is that venue, making that connection for our members,” Aviles said. “Sometimes, it’s very difficult to find a mentor,”
The most important trait of being an effective mentor is the ability to know how to listen, he said.
“If you want to mentor, it’s not about you,” Aviles said. “It’s about your mentee, and when you listen to their needs, you will be able to transfer your knowledge.”
Another skill mentors need is to care about the people they’re mentoring.
“When you care as a mentor, you will transfer your knowledge,” Aviles said. “You will open doors for your mentee. You will introduce your mentee to important people. You will help your mentee to make the next career move. Not only that, but you will also help your mentee with self confidence. So, when you really care about the relationship, you will really have an impact on your mentee.”
Those being mentored also have a part to play, Aviles said.
“I believe the most important thing is taking time to invest in the relationship,” Aviles said. “It’s not just a call. It’s not just a meeting. But, it’s the process of developing a lasting relationship, I have to say, a strategic relationship that helps you get ahead in your career.”
One of the first steps in bolstering that relationship is assembling a list of career goals your mentor can offer guidance in achieving.
“Normally, mentors are very seasoned professionals, so they will be able to help you out making some very important career decisions,” Aviles said.
He encouraged young professoinals to check out YGL’s website and become a member. The organization will be opening up its mentorship program next year for new participants.