II module. What is mentoring on employment related issues?

Mentoring – from an educational point of view mentoring is a developmental partnership where one person shares knowledge, skills, information and perspective to foster the personal and professional growth of someone else. There are two types of mentoring – pair and group. Also the mentoring may have many forms: face-to-face, e-Mentoring, blended mentoring etc.

Pair mentoring – it is the mentoring where a Mentor communicates with one Mentee; they become acquainted with each other and begin to build a relationship. Pair mentoring is suitable for a mentee who feels more comfortable to develop his/her abilities by directly interacting with his/her own Mentor.

Group mentoring – it is the mentoring where the Mentor works with the group of 4-5 Mentees. Sometimes it may take more time for the Mentees and the Mentor to get acquainted with each other and begin to build strong working relationships. In addition, Mentees in group mentoring often become peer Mentors to each other.

Face-to-face mentoring – it is the mentoring form where the Mentor regularly meets the Mentees and communicates with them during the face-to-face individual or group meetings/sessions.

e-Mentoring – it is a form of mentoring which utilises ICT tools and e-Learning.  The Internet is the main factor on which e-Mentoring depends. e-Mentoring requires the Mentor and the Mentee(s) to logon to a secure web environment where they can communicate with each other on a variety of work-related or personal issues.

Blended mentoring – it is a form of mentoring which unites face-to-face mentoring and e-Mentoring. The Mentor communicates with the Mentee(-s) by using the e-Mentoring web environment and by meeting them face-to-face few times during the mentoring process. It is recommended to have at least 3 face-to-face sessions with the Mentor during the e-Mentoring process – one at the beginning of the process, one in the middle and one at the end of the process.

Importance of Mentoring

Mentoring is important, because it encourages the development of the Mentee and the Mentor, raises the self-esteem and belief of the Mentee, creates new networks, raises motivation, and teaches to set goals, gives support and help for the Mentee. It also raises understanding between generations, cultures and different kinds of people. It is a good method of learning and development which gives for the Mentee satisfaction and the courage to meet conflicts and also courage to take risks.

The basic aim of Mentoring on employment-related issues (ERI)

The basic aim of the mentoring on employment-related issues is to promote and support the mentee´s professional and personal development towards getting employment or starting its own business.  Mentoring process also increases the Mentee´s knowledge, capability and self-esteem. The process as well conveys the Mentor´s tacit knowledge, experience and contacts to the mentee.

The discussions which take place during the mentoring relationship should be relevant to this basic aim should focus on their aims and objectives relating to their employment/entrepreneurial plan and issues which affect this. However there may be some additional discussions which do not directly relate to the basic aim but still have an impact on personal and professional growth. 

Blended mentoring on ERI connects the fresh ideas of the mentee to the Mentor´s experience, wisdom and networks and enhances learning opportunities of Mentee(s) to get new skills and competences for increasing their employability. In this mentoring process the age of the Mentor is not crucial, the experience is.

Main actors of the Mentoring process

The main actors participating in the mentoring process are 3M-actors – Manager, Mentor and Mentee. Every actor has different roles and responsibilities in the mentoring process.

Manager is a person experienced in management who organizes the whole mentoring process from the selection of the Mentees and Mentors to collecting the feedback after the process ends. The Manager supports the Mentors and mentees through the mentoring process.

Mentor is a skilled, experienced and esteemed person who is willing to support and advise a less experienced person-mentee. Mentor gives constructive feedback to the Mentee(-s) in order to help the mentees with their development plan and does this by asking appropriate questions, offering different alternatives and solutions to solve problems and overcome barriers. Mentor facilitates self-evaluation of decisions made by the mentee and offers feedback where appropriate. Mentor does this in order to protect a Mentee from a wide range of beginner’s mistakes. Mentor helps to build or increase self-confidence of the Mentee; stimulate professional behaviour; teach by example; confront negative behaviour and attitudes; helps in career growth; relay professional and experienced advice; and ultimately empower and enable the Mentee to reach determined goals.

Mentee is in general a person with a strong desire to develop personally and professionally by setting targets/goals for themselves and developing action plans to work towards these goals. This is done in cooperation with the Mentor.  A Mentee can also be a person who needs improvement for acting in particular situations and develop solutions and coping strategies through the guidance and support of their Mentor.  A Mentee should have a genuine desire to get guidance and support from the Mentor.

This course is dedicated for the Mentee but if you would like to learn more about the role of the Mentor, you can find it here  or if you would like to learn more about the role of the Manager, you can find it here.