Mentoring in Organisations today
*Mentors have appeared in history and literature for centuries. Recently mentors have begun to play an important role within organisations.
Most people still think of the business mentor in traditional terms of career advancement. Yet the role has gone through transformations over the years. As a result, the purpose of mentoring has changed.
Traditionally, the business mentor served to advance a mentee’s career.
This purpose made sense a couple of decades ago, when organisations were structured more as hierarchies. The organisational environment was paternalistic. In that environment, a mentor played godfather to the aspiring young man, helping his junior colleague crack the old boys’ network.
In contemporary mentoring relationships, career advancement may well occur as a happy by-product. But the mentor’s primary goal is to facilitate a mentee’s growth (including knowledge and skills.
The mentor no longer trains his or her eye on some future reward for the mentee. Instead the mentor seeks to develop a mentee's ability to respond in the present moment.
In today’s organisations I would therefore define mentoring as “A guide who assists in building knowledge & skills (capabilities), confidence and achievements in a trusted peer to peer relationship.”
Mentors are not coaches nor are they supervisors as the mentoring relationship progresses through four distinct stages and then ends.
(for more info on these stages please contact me as the behaviours are too detailed and complex to describe here)
(* the intro was adapted from Mentoring in the Moment – Mary Blitzer Fild)
When I started this company in 1996 I set down clear goals which I wanted to achieve. Over the past week I reviewed them and ticked them all off, a very satisfying experience.
The beginning of this New Year was also a time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t work in my personal and professional life last year. Time to set new goals.
So, now as I enter my sixth year as the principal consultant and managing director of Happening People I feel like a new person with a new set of goals and so much more to offer.
If you haven’t written down your goals for whatever period take some time out and do yourself a favour. It’s your very own personal challenge and reward.
Kind regards, Sam