Posts Tagged ‘leadership development’

91717331Change is endemic in the modern corporate setting, and employees who are continually learning are better equipped to evolve with this change. In Managers as Mentors, Chip R. Bell and Marshall Goldsmith present a mentoring guide that assists managers in taking on coaching roles to enhance the skills and abilities of associates. The authors emphasize that protégés are meant to develop into confident individuals who assume greater roles, and that the mentor/protégé connection is a partnership in which both parties gain valuable insights throughout the process. Managers as Mentors explores the full range of mentoring, from creating empathy, sharing knowledge, and effective listening to stimulating curiosity, assessing performance, and letting the protégé independently exercise newly-mastered skills.

According to the authors:

  • The best mentors recognize that their relationships are based on mutual interests, interdependence, and respect. The communication between mentor and protégé must be honest, straightforward, and open.
  • Protégés learn best when they are tutored in an atmosphere of trust and acceptance. Some may bring anxiety to the relationship, and this is a learning barrier because it suppresses risk taking. The mentor must overcome this by building rapport to a level where the protégé is willing to take rational risks.
  • A motivated protégé is one who will learn. Learners are better prepared psychologically if they accept the “why” of learning before they hear the “what” and the “how.”
  • Communication without judgment is essential to mentoring. Mentors should express themselves to protégés in terms of acceptance and affirmation in order to eliminate protégé defensiveness and encourage freer expression.
  • Mentors must remember that discussions are opportunities to augment their learning, not lecture. Good mentors yield the pulpit as much as possible to allow their protégés to think for themselves.
  • Listening is essential to mentoring. Mentors should give undivided attention to their protégés, deny distractions, and make their protégés the absolute focus of their energies. This fosters greater understanding by ensuring that communication between the two parties becomes the foundation of intellectual linkage.
  • A certain level of dependency is unavoidable in the mentor/protégé relationship, but it can be harmful if permitted to become too influential. To avoid hindering growth and development, alternative routes to learning must be explored.

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Related book summaries in the BBS library: Monday Morning Leadership, Power Mentoring, The Complete Guide to Mentoring


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In 2000, Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) was competing in a medical technology market that was much different from the one it had grown up in. The current market was fully globalized, and regulations were changing significantly, along with customer buying patterns. Company executives realized that many people in the company were unsure of BD’s direction. In response, BD revamped its learning and development infrastructure. In Leaders as Teachers, Edward Betof examines the leaders-as-teachers program and the benefits it can bring to a company, such as aligning the learning function with the organization’s goals, serving as a catalyst for leadership development, strengthening the organization’s culture, and promoting change.

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