Mentoring

FOSTERING BENEFICIAL RELATIONSHIPS

In its general form the mentoring partnership is an agreement between two people, sharing experiences and expertise to help with personal and professional growth. Usually a mentor is someone of substantial experience, talent, or professional standing, who nurtures the career of a mentee.

There are many types of mentoring relationships, the following are just a few examples:

Informal mentoring is probably the most commonly known mode and typically takes the form of a senior giving the benefit of experience and acting as a role model. Such mentors usually have significant personal experience as managers although this may or may not be in the same field as the mentee.

Supervisory mentors are often line managers who share valuable information about the organization and provide meaningful work and developmental learning opportunities. They expose employees to the values of the organization and help employees position themselves with the skills necessary for the job.

Situational mentoring is the right help at the right time. It is built around spontaneous connections and offers just enough help to solve a particular problem or uncover a hidden talent.

Formal mentoring is usually a short-term relationship, based on clearly defined skills or behavioural issues. Here mentors use current situations to examine recurrent patterns and help the mentee explore their way of handling issues allowing them to gain insights and self-awareness.

The key to any successful mentoring relationship is for both parties to recognize and respect each other’s strengths and differences. Mentoring should be more than just an informal chat every so often. At the outset of the mentoring relationship both parties must clarify expectations and roles, establish clear goals and set out a mentoring action plan. [read more – Mentoring by Jane Delorie – 170K – PDF]

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