Magazine article Management Today

Crash Course in ... Mentoring

Magazine article Management Today

Crash Course in ... Mentoring

Article excerpt

A bright young interviewee you'd like to offer a job has asked if she can join your mentor programme if she comes on board. You haven't got one. Time for a swift incursion into the wisdom market.

It's not just coaching. 'The basic difference is that coaching is always about performance; mentoring is more holistic, about the whole individual,' says Professor David Clutterbuck, prolific author on the subject and founder of training firm Clutterbuck Associates. Both are techniques for developing people, but, in practice, mentoring tends to be a longer relationship.

Who needs it? 'People benefit most from a mentor if they have a significant transition to make in their work or their life,' says Clutterbuck. 'Or if they value the opportunity to learn with someone else who has greater experience.' Mentoring is successfully used at all levels of hierarchy, from school leavers to senior executives.

Ins and outs. A mentor can be internal or external to the firm. Says Pauline Willis, director of the Coaching and Mentoring Network: 'An internal mentor can support an individual to maximise opportunities within the organisation.' External mentors can bring a broader perspective than is available internally, and discuss issues too sensitive to be broached with an insider. But the risk is that they can connect the mentee with opportunities in the outside world.

Find a match. The mentor typically has useful experience and, sometimes, specific expertise to offer. …

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