A concept often measured on its process rather than its results.

In my many years of practice as a Senior Manager and a HR Consultant I have rarely seen mentoring used effectively.

I have personally mentored a number of persons over a long period of time. All of whom now hold wide and varied important managerial positions. e.g. Regional Executive Commissioner with a large Government agency, Practice Manager in a law firm, Consultant in HR, Consultant in multi media, Customer Service Centre Manager in a large local body.

The latter paid me a great compliment when he gave me a special thank you for my help in his official speech at his fortieth birthday celebration. These people have now reached managerial maturity and we respect each other as peers. Their successes are the real results of mentoring.

We nearly always have mentors or confidantes in our private lives. It maybe a best friend or older family member, an elder or kamatua. When it comes to work we struggle with the concept as we think it is a weakness to ask for advice.

Some mentoring that I have seen in large companies has been abused and turns into destructive formal or informal clichés or détentes.

When quality mentoring is focussed and linked with the career and business goals it is very successful.

Donald Perkins said;

"I don't know that anyone has ever succeeded in any business without having some unselfish sponsor or mentorship, whatever it might be called, everyone who succeeds has had a mentor or mentors" Donald Perkins President Jewel


So what is mentoring?

  • Mentoring is a career development process overlaid with a confidential coaching relationship.
  • Mentoring is designed to knock off the rough edges and provide a low risk environment for skills to be developed, practiced and applied effectively.
  • The result of mentoring is to advance individual careers and build a better business.


The mentors role

A mentor will share knowledge, experience and skills to help the protégé develop their power and skills. A mentor will be a good counsellor providing emotional support. Mentors will also build confidence and identify opportunities to develop, project, and protect the protégé from errors and career risks.


The process

Kram researched four stages in 1985.
Initiation, Cultivation, Separation and Redefinition

My process is a little broader which starts with Identification of Protégés, Coaching & Development, Maintenance and Review, and finally Peer Support.


The traps

How did you guess - my old favourite dependency and of course elitism


If you would like to talk to me about mentoring please feel free to e-mail me murray @
Murray Dixon 7/2001


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