Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Air Force Mentoring Program, MyVECTOR

Research-based mentoring practices are applicable for all age groups and organizations. Many government and corporate entities have long had mentoring programs, although some have not been widely standardized, modernized, and accessible. The United States Air Force has launched MyVECTOR, a comprehensive, user-friendly mentoring program, which fosters more effective leaders and higher career attainment across its entire corps. We can borrow some ideas from MyVECTOR.

Note: The word vector in math and physics is "a quantity having direction and magnitude [size], especially as determining the position of one point in space relative to another,"according to Google. Most humans need a little help from time to time with direction and building of our lives, don't we?

Article below with photos:

"AF launches MyVector, mentorship resources for Airmen"
The Air Force recently launched an improved and re-branded Career Path Tool, called MyVector, which encourages mentorship between Airmen at all levels.
The first step in the success of MyVector is for Airmen to volunteer to be mentors and share their experience and expertise with other Airmen.
"Mentoring and networking are two of the most important things for leaders to embrace," said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. "Mentoring represents an investment -- one where we may not know the impact until many years later."
The reconfigured online platform supporting mentoring has a modern look and feel. These new configurations support not only the traditional by-name request method of requesting a mentor, but also provide a mentor-matching capability based on weighted characteristics identified by the Airman searching for a mentor.
MyVector has a real-time mentoring plan, discussion forums, a bullet tracker to document accomplishments, and the ability to dialogue online with your mentor. A resource page is also available to assist both parties with mentoring questions and relationships.
"Air Force mentoring fosters a culture of inclusion for all Airmen while maximizing their strengths, and is aligned with the culture of the Air Force for mission accomplishment," said Dr. Patricia McGill, the doctrine, institutional competencies and mentoring chief. "MyVector captures Airmen experiences within and across Air Force specialty codes and occupational series. Mentors will be able to provide feedback on their mentees' career progression."
Mentorship requires time, effort and dedication. To assist with this process, there is a "Mentoring Checklist" in Air Force Manual 36-2643, "Air Force Mentoring Program," which outlines how to plan for the different mentoring sessions.
"No matter your age, it's important to help each other," James said. "Seek a mentor and be a mentor."
For more information and to register for an online profile, please visit: https://afvec.langley.af.mil/myvector

Ret. 2-23-16

Below is from the MyVECTOR website, ret. 3-28-16

"Mentorship is about helping Airmen grow and think for themselves,
and mentees should not be dependent upon their mentors for success."

"Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James is a strong advocate of 
mentorship and encourages Airmen to be proactive about their career development."

"Effective Mentorship 
Facilitates the development of Airmen by
sharing resources, expertise, values, competencies, perspectives, and attitudes."
Air Force Mentoring 
Mentoring is a critical component of the Air Force's Force Development Construct. It is normally a relationship in which a person with greater experience and wisdom guides another person to develop both personally and professionally. Mentoring is not a promotion enhancement program but is designed to prepare Airmen for increased responsibilities. Goals of the mentoring program are to 
  • Promote Growth
  • Leverage Human Capital 
  • Welcome New Employees
Note MyVECTOR's best practices as well as mentor and mentee expectations.

In addition to mentoring, MyVECTOR has career planning, mentoring connections, and knowledge sharing through Discussion Forums and many additional resources, some of which cannot be accessed without logging into the site. 

Two resources those mentoring older youths or adults might read:

  • Coaching and Mentoring: How to Develop Top Talent and Achieve Stronger Performance, Harvard Business School Press  
  • The Mentoring Advantage: Creating the Next Generation of Leaders, Florence Stone

Thanks to C. Brent Dishman, Attorney at Law, Dishman Military Advocates, for sharing the program with us. www.DishmanMilitaryAdvocates.com

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