In 1998 we conducted an on-line survey to define what partners felt were the attributes of effective mentoring relationships. A resounding YES came from responses to this open-ended question: Is there a difference between a mentor, coach, and supervisor?
Employees and managers the world over dread this ritual and therein lays the main problem: We have institutionalized the giving and receiving of feedback. We save up our comments and document all the things we note about a person's performance. And then, like a big cat ready to pounce, the manager brings a hapless employee into the office and springs a year's worth of "constructive criticism" onto him or her.
Mentoring is a collaborative learning relationship between individuals who share mutual responsibility and accountability for helping the mentee work toward the fulfillment of clear and mutually defined learning goals. Mentoring is used to assist individuals at specific stages of development or transition and lasts for a sustain ed but defined period of time. The mentoring relationship provides a developmental opportunity for both parties and can thus be of mutual benefit.
Mentoring has gained attention and popularity as a powerful tool to enable the careers of those advancing through the ranks in all types of organizations. Those with access to mentoring consistently are known to benefit from their involvement in these relationships. Research shows that people with mentors report higher salaries, more frequent promotions, higher job satisfaction, stronger commitment to their organization and are less likely to want to leave their jobs than those without mentors.
Empathizing, or having rapport, is key in building a successful mentoring partnership. Strong rapport results in effective communication and a mentee open and willing to take the steps needed to effect change in their performance and development. Rarely are we immediately comfortable with someone we have met for the first time.
So how can you maximize the benefits of your personal and professional relationships with one or more mentors? With thanks--and apologies--to David Letterman, below is a top-10 list of tips for a mentoring "tune-up."
This definition structures your mentee role as one of an achiever willing to take the initiative for his/her own development and make the most of available learning opportunities. You are responsible for devoting your time to the mentoring relationship with on-going interaction with your mentor.
In every workplace, you will have difficult coworkers. Dealing with difficult coworkers, bosses, customers, clients, and friends is an art worth perfecting. Dealing with difficult situations at work is challenging, yet rewarding. You can increase your skill at dealing with the difficult people who surround you in your work world. These tips will help you.
Conflict is a normal and natural occurrence of interacting with one another. The cost of resolving conflict is negligible relative to the cost of leaving conflicts unresolved.