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MENTORING - Those who seek mentoring, will rule the great expanse under heaven. Those who boast that they are greater than others will fall short. Those who are willing to learn from others, become greater. Those who are ego-involved, will be humbled and made small. - Shu Ching

Mentors are: “Advisors, people with career experience willing to share their knowledge; supporters, people who give emotional and moral encouragement; tutors, people who give specific feedback on one’s performance; masters, in the sense of employers to whom one is apprenticed; sponsors, sources of information about, and aid in obtaining opportunities; models of identity, of the kind of person one should be…- Zelditch, 1990 In Homer’s The Odyssey, Mentor was a trusted friend of Odysseus the King of Ithaca. Before leaving for the Trojan Wars, Odysseus asked Mentor take charge of the royal household and raise Telemachus, the king's young son. Mentor had to be a parent, teacher, role model, counselor, trusted adviser, challenger, and encourager to the young Telemachus in order that he become a wise and good ruler. Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, would sometimes assume the form of Mentor to guard and teach Telemachus. At other times, took on her owl form to watch from a distance, stepping in only when Telemachus needed to be rescued. Mentor derives from the Indo-European root men-, meaning “to think” and probably meant “advisor” in ancient Greek.

Today, the word connotes not only the personal functions served by Mentor, it also includes a career function. A career mentor helps to guide one's entry into the profession and steer a course on the career path.

Key Points: 1) Mentoring is different from advising. It serves two major functions: career personal 2) Mentoring is all about communicating. If you don’t communicate, you can’t: as a mentor, share your accumulated wisdom as a mentee, learn anything from your mentor 3) Do not expect to get everything from a single mentor. While it is tempting to put your first mentor on a pedestal as the ultimate role model, different mentors have different strengths. 4) Mentoring relationships are not static, expect yours to evolve. This seems to surprise everyone! Expect the focus of the mentoring to alter and both roles to be redefined as the relationship evolves. While it may be incredibly productive and smooth most of the time, it might be awkward or even tense at others. Variability and change are normal characteristics of mentoring relationships. Researchers have identified 4 phases of mentoring (although, not all mentoring relationships proceed in a linear fashion): Initiation potential mentoring pair get to know each other; each recognizes the potential of the other; protégé comes to respect mentor and mentor recognizes protégé shows promise. potential mentoring pair get to know each other; each recognizes the potential of the other; protégé comes to respect mentor and mentor recognizes protégé shows promise. Cultivation Bulk of the mentoring “work”; lengthiest phase; each learns about the other’s abilities; protégé learns and mentor advises, promotes, and protects. Separation Most dynamic and least expected; Tension may be most notable characteristic because mentoring functions decrease and protégé acts more independently; tension and stress are a normal and neither spells doom. “You have to make it through the hard times to experience the exceptional rewards.” Most dynamic and least expected; Tension may be most notable characteristic because mentoring functions decrease and protégé acts more independently; tension and stress are a normal and neither spells doom. “You have to make it through the hard times to experience the exceptional rewards.” Redefinition Mentoring activities substantially reduced; relationship transforms into one between colleagues; balance of power shifts, which permits mutual respect and support.

SOME GUIDELINES FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN MENTORING These guidelines are intended to assist you in the introduction of mentoring individual members of staff, who are taking on the role of mentor in your company. 1. GENERAL GUIDANCE Mentoring is: an informal and supportive relationship whereby a more experienced member of staff undertakes to help a new member of staff learn his/her job and its context at NTB A mentor is: • preferably someone who broadly shares a new member of staff's professional interests; • nominated by the head of department from staff not on probation who have been in post for at least a year A mentor is not: • a substitute for effective line management and, therefore, should not be the head of department or the new member of staff's appraiser A mentor should provide: • initial departmental induction • observation of work and feedback • the opportunity for the mentee to learn from the mentor's example • examples of, and guidance on, acceptable standards of work in all aspects of being an employee at NTB • information, advice and guidance on departmental, bank procedures • guidance on departmental culture - 'the way we do things here' A mentor should be prepared to: • initiate regular meetings with a new member of staff and be available, within reason, on request • assist with any problems relating to the performance of duties which a new member of staff chooses to raise • appreciate a new member of staff's differing experience and needs • accept that a new member of staff will wish to seek advice and support from a variety of colleagues • respect the importance of trust in the mentoring relationship • maintain a written record of meetings held with the new member of staff A mentor should be able to: • listen actively and attentively • ask open and appropriate questions • reflect back feelings and opinions he/she observes • make suggestions without sounding prescriptive • summarise the main points of discussion • give constructive, positive and precise feedback.

ACTIVITY Try and list at least six possible benefits to your company in which the experience of more senior staff could be used in developing staff. 01. 02 03 04 05 06 ACTIVITY What are the benefits for both Mentor and Mentee ? MENTOR BENEFITS MENTEE BENEFITS ACTIVITY Goals of Mentoring at your company The purpose of the scheme is to Potential Mentees will be Potential Mentors but Commitment is required.

Author : Prof.Lakshman Madurasinghe

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