Do You Believe In Mentoring?

Mentoring can range from a friendly discussion over coffee, to a few well chosen words at the water cooler, to a quiet hand written note for a myriad of reasons.  As a “manager” of a business or a team you should have at least an informal mentoring program in place with the full intentions of making it more formal as the program gains strength.
In days past, mentors were seen as the more senior and wiser members of the team.  It was assumed that their mentoring skills came from years of hands on experience.  And in the majority of the time, this concept probably held true to course.
But in today’s world, mentoring has become more accountable.  Mentors and those being mentored typically reach an agreement on issues, structure and intended end results.  It is my humble opinion that in the current business mindset, mentoring is less about seniority and power and more about teaching, sharing, supporting and developing.
I’ve been asked about the difference between a mentor and a coach and I have difficulty defining the difference as the roles are not clear cut defined.  Because there is ambiguity in most management activities, the difference can be elusive, thus I personally don’t have a logical answer.  However I will say that they both have value and they both can work splendidly.
So what is a mentor?  Perhaps a teacher; a trusted friend; is nurturing by nature; one who can give advice without being judgmental; a guide or role model;  one who cares about development of a persona not just a job;   one who help another become more capable.
Many formal programs have adopted a “buddy” program in which all new hires are assigned a more experienced employee.  The buddy is there to provide guidance and support and to be a good listener and this is especially important during the first few months.  For a new employee, becoming acquainted with policies and procedures and the cultural of the organization can get to be a bit overwhelming.
The bottom line is that it is still “all about people.”  People helping people;   People caring about others and offering help and guidance without having an ulterior motive. 
Make a dedicated effort to make this a tremendous week of giving for yourself and all with whom you come in contact.  All lives within that scope will be enriched. 
George F. Mancuso, CPC, CEO
Client Growth Consultants, Inc.