New Mentoring Skills for Managers & Parents

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New Mentoring Skills for Managers

New Mentoring Skills for Parents

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About the Authors


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Book Excerpts

Mentor Manager, Mentor Parent:  How to Develop Responsible People and Build Successful Relationships at Work and at Home

By Linda Culp Dowling and Cecile Culp Mielenz

On their experience…

Drawing on our experiences, we created a model of strategies and skills designed to help our clients develop mentoring relationships rather than those based on control.  Mentor Manager, Mentor Parent teaches managers and parents how to apply these proven techniques at work and at home.

On being a mentor…

A mentor shares wisdom about aspects of life.  The mentor manager or mentor parent willingly accepts the challenge to develop responsible, self-directed people.  He recognizes the ineffectiveness of attempting to control employees or children.  Instead, he identifies and explains values and standards.  Whether at work or at home, the mentor involves employees and children in making their own choices.  Ultimately, he places responsibility for behavior in their hands.

On control styles…

Your control style may originate in the powerful influence of your role models.  Perhaps you imitate your first manager or recognize the similarity to a parent when you speak or gesture.  If your role model is a mentor, mentoring skills will seem natural to you.  On the other hand, if your role model is a boss, manipulator, or martyr, you may find yourself reverting to those familiar patterns, especially when you are under stress or time pressure.  Whether you imitate a role model or consciously choose to behave differently, your control style reflects your underlying assumptions about relationships with employees and children.

On the mentoring process…

The mentoring process involves four interrelated strategies.  Success at one level leads to the next, and difficulty at any level allows you to revisit the previous strategy.  Mentoring begins when you create a structure to explain the values and expectations of your organization or family.  Building on that foundation, you coach employees and children to develop their own skills.  As they become more independent, you conference to expand original expectations.  Finally, as you recognize their ability to direct themselves, you let go.

On behavior and values…

The mentor structures by clearly explaining basic values that define standards of behavior within the organization or family.  Her own actions consistently reflect those values.  The mentor manager teaches, Completing project reports on schedule allows us to bill the client and collect payment by the end of the month.  The mentor parent takes time to explain, You need to be ready for school by seven o’clock so that I can drop you off on my way to work.