Michael Boyd-Clark on Mentoring

Article excerpt

Forty-five percent of the respondents to a recent survey on NZIM's Northern Region mentoring programme were not sure about mentoring. Why? The survey showed clearly that lack of information is the major inhibitor. Members suggested they are hesitant about signing up mainly because they don't know enough about mentoring generally or about NZIM's specific mentoring programme. As one respondent put it, "I'm not sure what I don't know."

Some members indicated being apprehensive about the process of mentoring, others worried about the time it would consume. One unexpected response suggested that some people may worry that mentoring by NZIM could put them at odds with their boss: "I am not sure how my manager would react to having someone external mentor me when it is supposed to be his role."

Interestingly, it is women who tend to harbour uncertainties about mentoring. The survey revealed that men tend to be unequivocal; they want to be mentored, or they know that they don't.

In relation to age, not surprisingly, the young indicated a wish to be mentored while older members were not interested. Middle managers and those in the middle years displayed greater uncertainty than the junior and senior, and the younger and older members. …