Daily Paradox - Written by John Bittleston on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 5:45 - 3 Comments
Mentoring – How Is It Done?
Mentoring is highly individual, both for organisation and for personal Mentee. Every business is dynamic; its mentoring needs change all the time. Same for a personal Mentee. Our lives involve plans, problems, opportunities, accidents. Mentoring starts from where you are, not from where you would like to be. It begins with a needs analysis.
For an organisation, we establish:
- Whether management knows what its opportunities and problems are
- What is its timeframe for resolving them
Questions face to face with the boss answers the first. This is dialogue – each answer determines how the questions develop. It will take three hours and is paid for by the client. We produce a summary of the outcome and recommend how to proceed.
We focus on opportunities and problems. Most organisations have many ways of increasing their efficiency, staff retention and motivation, profit improvement. Our mentoring will be step-by-step and flexible, helping the organisation find its own solutions. It only works with top management support.
With individuals an initial free discussion reveals the main opportunities or problems facing the Mentee. S/he then completes a paid-for PASDAQ Review. (Personality, Ability, Skills, Dreams, Ambitions, Qualifications.) There are several versions – for those setting out on a career, for those changing jobs or career in mid-life, for those contemplating retirement and wishing to use the time well.
This is not a test, has no check-list answers, does not provide an algorithmically-calculated conclusion. Its questions are open-ended leading to discussions between Mentor and Mentee. It starts the process of finding the Tree on the other side of the Field. It achieves it with discussion and thought. In twenty years over 4,000 Mentees have completed it.
The PASDAQ Review teaches Mentees much about themselves of which they may have been only dimly (or not) aware. It helps both Mentor and Mentee decide the best approach to achieving the purposes the Mentee discovers when completing it.
What is the difference between mentoring and coaching? There is much. A good Mentor will coach at times and a good Coach can also be a Mentor. Generally, coaching is about more specific and short-term needs. It is more prescriptive, presenting solutions to the Coachee. Mentoring helps Mentees find their own, longer-lasting solutions. A Mentor can always coach.
Successful mentoring has changed people’s lives dramatically for the better and transformed dreary and unprofitable organisations into lively and successful ones by refocusing attention on what matters and by obliterating nonsense.
If we reach the end of a mentoring programme and our Client or Mentee says “It’s mostly commonsense when you think about it” we have done our job well.
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by John Bittleston
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