Mentorship


Mentorship

Mentorship refers to a personal developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps a less experienced or less knowledgeable person.

The person in receipt of mentorship may be referred to as a protégé (male), a protégée (female), an apprentice or, in recent years, a mentee.

"Mentoring" is a process that always involves communication and is relationship based, but its precise definition is elusive. One definition of the many that have been proposed, is

Mentoring is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development; mentoring entails informal communication, usually face-to-face and during a sustained period of time, between a person who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom, or experience (the mentor) and a person who is perceived to have less (the protégé)".[1]

Mentoring in Europe has existed since at least Ancient Greek times. Since the 1970s it has spread in the United States of America mainly in training contexts[2] and it has been described as "an innovation in American management".[3]

Contents

Historical

The roots of the practice are lost in antiquity. The word itself was inspired by the character of Mentor in Homer's Odyssey. Though the actual Mentor in the story is a somewhat ineffective old man, the goddess Athena takes on his appearance in order to guide young Telemachus in his time of difficulty.

Historically significant systems of mentorship include traditional Greek pederasty, the guru - disciple tradition practiced in Hinduism and Buddhism, Elders, the discipleship system practiced by Rabbinical Judaism and the Christian church, and apprenticing under the medieval guild system.

Mentoring techniques

The focus of mentoring is to develop the whole person and so the techniques are broad and require wisdom in order to be used appropriately.[4]

A 1995 study of mentoring techniques most commonly used in business[5] found that the five most commonly used techniques among mentors were:

  1. Accompanying: making a commitment in a caring way, which involves taking part in the learning process side-by-side with the learner.
  2. Sowing: mentors are often confronted with the difficulty of preparing the learner before he or she is ready to change. Sowing is necessary when you know that what you say may not be understood or even acceptable to learners at first but will make sense and have value to the mentee when the situation requires it.
  3. Catalyzing: when change reaches a critical level of pressure, learning can jump. Here the mentor chooses to plunge the learner right into change, provoking a different way of thinking, a change in identity or a re-ordering of values.
  4. Showing: this is making something understandable, or using your own example to demonstrate a skill or activity. You show what you are talking about, you show by your own behavior.
  5. Harvesting: here the mentor focuses on "picking the ripe fruit": it is usually used to create awareness of what was learned by experience and to draw conclusions. The key questions here are: "What have you learned?", "How useful is it?".

Different techniques may be used by mentors according to the situation and the mindset of the mentee, and the techniques used in modern organizations can be found in ancient education systems, from the Socratic technique of harvesting to the accompaniment method of learning used in the apprenticeship of itinerant cathedral builders during the Middle Ages.[5] Leadership authors Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner[6] advise mentors to look for "teachable moments" in order to "expand or realize the potentialities of the people in the organizations they lead" and underline that personal credibility is as essential to quality mentoring as skill.

Typology

There are two broad types of mentoring relationships: formal and informal. Informal relationships develop on their own between partners. Formal mentoring, on the other hand, refers to a structured process supported by the organization and addressed to target populations. Youth mentoring programs assist at-risk children or youth who lack role models and sponsors. In business formal mentoring is part of talent management address to populations such as key employees, newly hired graduates, high potentials and future leaders. In formal mentoring, matching of mentor and mentee is often done by a mentoring coordinator.

There are formal mentoring programs that are values-oriented, while social mentoring and other types focus specifically on career development. Some mentorship programs provide both social and vocational support. In well-designed formal mentoring programs, there are program goals, schedules, training (for both mentors and protégés), and evaluation. In 2004 Metizo created the first mentoring certification for companies and business schools in order to guarantee the integrity and effectiveness of formal mentoring. Certification is attributed jointly by the organization and an external expert.[7]

There are many kinds of mentoring relationships from school or community-based relationships to e-mentoring relationships. These mentoring relationships vary and can be influenced by the type of mentoring relationship that is in effect. That is whether it has come about as a formal or informal relationship. Also there are several models have been used to describe and examine the sub-relationships that can emerge. For example, Buell describes how mentoring relationships can develop under a cloning model, nurturing model, friendship model and apprenticeship model. The cloning model is about the mentor trying to "produce a duplicate copy of him or her self." The nurturing model takes more of a "parent figure, creating a safe, open environment in which mentee can both learn and try things for him-or herself." The friendship model are more peers "rather than being involved in a hierarchical relationship." Lastly, the apprenticeship is about less "personal or social aspects... and the professional relationship is the sole focus".[8]

Contemporary research and practice in the US

Research in the 1970s, partly in response to a study by Daniel Levinson,[9] led some women and African Americans to question whether the classic "white male" model was available or customary for people who are newcomers in traditionally white male organizations. In 1978 Edgar Schein described multiple roles for successful mentors.[10][clarification needed]

Two of Schein's students, Davis and Garrison, undertook to study successful leaders of both genders and at least two races. Their research presented evidence for the roles of: cheerleader, coach, confidant, counsellor, developer of talent, "griot" (oral historian for the organization or profession), guardian, guru, inspiration, master, "opener of doors", patron, role model, pioneer, "seminal source", "successful leader", and teacher.[11] They described multiple mentoring practices which have since been given the name of "mosaic mentoring" to distinguish this kind of mentoring from the single mentor approach.

Mosaic mentoring is based on the concept that almost everyone can perform one or another function well for someone else — and also can learn along one of these lines from someone else. The model is seen as useful for people who are "non-traditional" in a traditional setting, such as people of color and women in a traditionally white male organization. The idea has been well-received in medical education literature.[12] There are also mosaic mentoring programs in various faith-based organizations.[citation needed]

New-hire mentorship

For example, in some programs, newcomers to the organization (protégés) are paired with more experienced people (mentors) in order to obtain information, good examples, and advice as they advance. It has been claimed that new employees who are paired with a mentor are twice as likely to remain in their job than those who do not receive mentorship.[13]

These mentoring relationships provide substance for career growth, and benefit both the mentor and the mentee. For example, the mentor gets to show leadership by giving back and perhaps being refreshed about their own work. The organization receives an employee that is being gradually introduced and shaped by the organization's culture and operation because they have been under the mentorship of an experienced member. The person being mentored networks, becomes integrated easier in an organization, gets experience and advice along the way.[14] It has been said that "joining a mentor's network and developing one's own is central to advancement" and this is possibly why those mentored tend to do well in their organizations.[14]

In the organizational setting mentoring usually "requires unequal knowledge".[1] but the process of mentorship can differ. Bullis describes the mentoring process in the forms of phase models. Initially, the "mentee proves himself or herself worthy of the mentor's time and energy". Then cultivation occurs which includes the actual "coaching...a strong interpersonal bond between mentor and mentee develops". Next, under the phase of separation "the mentee experiences more autonomy". Ultimately, there is more of equality in the relationship, termed by Bullis as Redefinition.[15]

High-potential mentorship

In other cases, mentoring is used to groom up-and-coming employees deemed to have the potential to move up into leadership roles. Here the employee (protégé) is paired with a senior level leader (or leaders) for a series of career-coaching interactions. A similar method of high-potential mentoring is to place the employee in a series of jobs in disparate areas of an organization, all for small periods of time, in anticipation of learning the organization's structure, culture, and methods. A mentor does not have to be a manager or supervisor to facilitate the process.[citation needed]

Mentorship in education

In many secondary and post-secondary schools, mentorship programs are offered to support students in program completion, confidence building and transitioning to further education or the workforce. There are also many peer mentoring programs designed specifically to bring under-represented populations into science and engineering.[citation needed]

Blended mentoring

The blended mentoring is a mix of on-site and online events, projected to give to career counselling and development services the opportunity to adopt mentoring in their ordinary practice.

Reverse mentoring

In the reverse mentoring situation, the mentee has more overall experience (typically as a result of age) than the mentor (who is typically younger), but the mentor has more knowledge in a particular area, and as such, reverses the typical constellation. Examples are when young internet or mobile savvy Millennial Generation teens train executives in using their high end Smart Phones. They in turn sometimes offer insight in business processes.[citation needed]

Business mentoring

The concept of mentoring has entered the business domain as well. This is different from being an apprentice, a business mentor provides guidance to a business owner or an entrepreneur on the entrepreneur's business. An apprentice learns a trade by working on the job with the "employer".

The word mentoring is being often used by organizations such at TiE,[16] which help entrepreneurs start new ventures. Several venture capitalists also claim that they provide mentoring along with capital.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Bozeman, B.; Feeney, M. K. (October 2007). "Toward a useful theory of mentoring: A conceptual analysis and critique". Administration & Society 39 (6): 719–739. doi:10.1177/0095399707304119. http://aas.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/39/6/719. 
  2. ^ Parsloe, E.; Wray, M. J. (2000). Coaching and mentoring: practical methods to improve learning. Kogan Page. ISBN 9780749431181. 
  3. ^ Odiorne, G. S. (1985). "Mentoring - An American Management Innovation". Personnel Administrator (30): 63–65. 
  4. ^ Daloz, L. A. (1990). Effective Teaching and Mentoring. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. pp. 20. 
  5. ^ a b Aubrey, Bob and Cohen, Paul (1995). Working Wisdom: Timeless Skills and Vanguard Strategies for Learning Organizations. Jossey Bass. pp. 23, 44–47, 96–97. 
  6. ^ Posner, B. and Kouzes, J. (1993). Credibility. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. pp. 155. 
  7. ^ "How Metizo certifies personal development". Metizo. http://www.metizo.com/home/how-metizo-certifies-personal-development. 
  8. ^ Buell, Cindy (January 2004). "Models of Mentoring in Communication". Communication Review 53 (1): 56–73. ISSN 1479-5795. 
  9. ^ Levinson, Daniel S.; Darrow, C. N,; Klein, E. B.; Levinson, M. (1978). Seasons of a Man's Life. New York: Random House.. ISBN 039440694X. 
  10. ^ Schein, Edgar H. (June 1978). Career Dynamics: Matching Individual and Organizational Needs. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0201068346. 
  11. ^ Davis, Jr, by Robert L.; Garrison, Patricia A. (1979). 
  12. ^ Periyakoil, Vyjeyanthi S. (October 2007). "Journal of Palliative Medicine". Journal of Palliative Medicine 10 (5): 1048–1049. doi:10.1089/jpm.2006.9911. PMID 17985959. 
  13. ^ Kaye, Beverly; Jordan-Evans (2005). Love 'Em or Lose Em: Getting Good People to Stay. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. p. 117. ISBN 978-1-57675-327-9. 
  14. ^ a b Pompper, D.; Adams, J. (2006). "Under the microscope: Gender and mentor-protege relationships". Public Relations Review (Science Direct) (32): 309–315. 
  15. ^ Bullis, C.; Bach, W. B. (1989). "Are mentor relationships helping organizations? An exploration of developing mentee-mentor-organizational identification using turning point analysis". Communication Quarterly 37 (3): 199–213. doi:10.1080/01463378909385540. 
  16. ^ "Atlanta TIE Mentoring Clinic". The IndUS Entrepreneurs (TIE). http://atlanta.tie.org/chapterHome/programs/TiEMentoringClinic200706219667346644/viewInnerPagePT. Retrieved 2011-02-07. 

Further reading

  • Alliance for Excellent Education. (2005) Tapping the potential: Retaining and developing high-quality new teachers. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education.
  • Boreen, J., Johnson, M. K., Niday, D., & Potts, J. (2000). Mentoring beginning teachers: guiding, reflecting, coaching. York, Maine: Stenhouse Publishers.
  • Carger, C.L. (1996). "The two Bills: Reflecting on the gift of mentorship". Peabody Journal of Education 71 (1): 22–29. doi:10.1207/s15327930pje7101_4. 
  • Cheng, M. & Brown, R. (1992). A two-year evaluation of the peer support pilot project. Evaluation/Feasibility Report, Toronto Board of Education. ED 356 204.
  • Clinard, L. M.; Ariav, T. (1998). "What mentoring does for mentors: A cross-cultural perspective". European Journal of Teacher Education 21 (1): 91–108. 
  • Cox, M.D. (1997). Walking the tightrope: The role of mentoring in developing educators as professionals, in Mullen, C.A.. In M.D. Cox, C.K. Boettcher, & D.S. Adoue (Eds.), Breaking the circle of one: Redefining mentorship in the lives and writings of educators. New York: Peter Lang.
  • Daloz, L. A. (1999). Mentor: Guiding the journey of adult learners. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Head, F. A., Reiman, A. J., & Thies-Sprinthall, L. (1992). The reality of mentoring; Complexity in its process and function. In T.M. Bey & C. T. Holmes (Eds), Mentoring: Contemporary principles and issues. Reston, VA: Association of Teacher Educators, 5-24.
  • Huang, Chungliang and Jerry Lynch (1995), Mentoring - The TAO of Giving and Receiving Wisdom, Harper, San Francisco.
  • Kram, K. E. (1985). Mentoring at work: Developmental relationships in organizational life. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman.
  • Murray, M. (1991). Beyond the myths and the magic of mentoring: How to facilitate an effective mentoring program. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Schlee, R. (2000). "Mentoring and the professional development of business students". Journal of Management Education 24 (3): 322–337. doi:10.1177/105256290002400304. 
  • Scherer, Marge (ed.). (1999) A better beginning: Supporting and mentoring new teachers. Alexandria, Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
  • Project Blue Lynx, by Dan Ward. A journal article published by Defense Acquisition University, exploring an innovative approach to mentoring.

External links


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