© 2003, Barry Sweeny

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Highly effective mentoring programs doní' just assign mentors and then hope quality relationships, effective learning, and performance improvement will happen. The most effective programs create structures and strategies to ensure their desired results will occur.

The fundamental truth is that effective mentoring is a mutual learning situation. At the foundation of all effective mentoring, is the core requirement that each individual is BEING MENTORED, and at the same time is MENTORING others.

Adjoining this text is what this concept looks like in graphic form. In that graphic, the P represents when I am a Protege, learning from my mentor in areas where I want to grow. The M is when I am a Mentor, sharing with others what I have learned to support their growth. Of course, every other mentoring relationship above and below the one being discussed repeats this pattern.

So if mentors need to be continual learners too, from whom will they learn?

Therefore, there are two kinds of mentoring relationships in which we should all be involved, expert-to-less experienced, and peer-to-peer. Here are some examples of how this can look.

Examples of Expert - Novice Mentoring are:
> New employee induction mentoring
> An experienced employee mentoring another experienced employee who knows less about a topic
> Supervisor - employee mentoring
> Leadership development or promotion-oriented mentoring
> Adult - student mentoring.

Examples of Peer-to-Peer Mentoring are:
> Peer follow up support for implementation of training
> Peer mentoring to support reflective practice among experienced employees.

IF YOUR program expects improvements in individual performance and results to occur and to be sustained, this core concept must be implemented at every level of the program and for each stakeholder.

You have my permission to duplicate this information as long as you:

1. Keep the author and copyright info, graphic header, and source info on the page
2. Do not sell it or provide it as a part of paid professional services.

© 2004, by Barry Sweeny, Best Practice Resources, 26 W 413 Grand Ave. Wheaton, IL 60187

630-668-2605, Cell 630-842-2991, email and web site at <>.