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Understanding the Process

Before undertaking the mentoring role it is essential to understand the process and the difference between mentoring and other personal development. Being an off-line relationship, mentoring shouldn’t be confused with coaching or tutoring. It’s a confidential relationship between mentor and protégé and this confidence must be respected at all times. The role of the mentor is to help the person bring about the transition from reliance on others to reliance on him or herself. “Every day we each grow older, meet new people, encounter new problems and challenges, and perhaps suffer some defeats. No matter how little we seem to change, remaining the same is impossible.” (Shea, 2001, p. 46). Helping someone to learn and grow should be the goal of a good mentor. Bell (2002) stated, “The real aim of mentoring is not mastery, because it implies closure or an ending.” (p. 10). The ultimate goal should be continuous growth.

Mentoring should not be confused with discipleship in that mentors are traditionally thought of as a teacher or coach. Bell (2002) defined mentoring as “the act of helping another learn.” (p. 3). To be a Disciple means to be scholar; a learner; especially, a follower who has learned to believe in the truth of the doctrine of his teacher, and implies that the pupil is under the discipline of, and ‘understands’, his teacher; an adherent in doctrine. Merriam-Webster defined a Disciple (from the Latin discipulus, a pupil) as “one who receives instruction from another: one who accepts the doctrines of another and assists in spreading or implementing them.” (2005).

Accepting the Call

Discipleship is about the transition to Building Companies Near Me    relying on something bigger than you. Mullen (1999) maintained that “. . . the intent is to develop a relationship where trust, confidentiality, and accountability are established and one’s relationship with God is deepened.” (p. 96). There are occasions that call for discipleship over mentoring; such as compassion during despair, a peacemaker during conflict, or understanding during times of discipline. “It should be clear to all employees in the workplace that this person is indeed a Christian, but the light should not be so overpowering that those around the leader turn away.” (Winston, 2002, p. 95).

“Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'” (Mark 10:21). Later, in Mark 10:29 Jesus tells his disciples that you surrender everything “. . . for my sake and the Gospel.” True surrender will go beyond natural devotion. If we will only give up ourselves, God will surrender Himself to embrace all those around us and will meet their needs, which were created by our surrender. Beware of surrender that is motivated by personal benefits that may result. All too often, leaders will mentor for all the wrong reasons: achievement, recognition, power, or control. Most leaders have been cultured to control the process of growth and learning. Bell (2002) described surrendering as “Completely relinquishing any effort to control or manipulate the outcome.” (p. 33). Surrendering is the first step in Bell’s “Model for Great Mentoring.” (p. 14). The bottom line is that before you can be a great mentor, you must first accept the call to discipleship by surrendering yourself to the process.

Contemporary Mentoring

Mentors should encourage informal learning at every opportunity. Bell (2002) maintained that great mentors should always search for creative ways to cultivate organizational values and encourage learning such as company magazines, newsletters, bulletin boards, media and technology, as well as cross-unit training. (p. 135-136). Simply stated, Cross-unit mentoring is cross-team or small group mentoring which is a form of informal learning. Bell (2002) also states why many organizations provide mentoring opportunities within a small group environment. (p. 136):

Provide Differing Perspectives;

Decrease inter-unit conflict;

Increase employee scope of knowledge;

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