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Tutoring, Mentoring and Guidance

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Tutoring, Mentoring and Guidance "The Me I Am" What Is Mentoring? There are many definitions of the term mentoring, there are also many thoughts on whether the word itself is appropriate to the process, depending on its context. Andrew Gibbons ( N.M.N. 2002) defines mentoring as: "A protected relationship in which learning and experimentation can occur, potential skills can be developed, and in which results can be measured in terms of competencies gained, rather than curricular territory covered. It is a relationship rather than an activity" Clearly the person-centred approach is integral to the concept|: "The support of one individual by another within a personal relationship developed through regular contact over a period of time" (Pan London Standard 2001) In this essay I will seek to discuss some different models of the mentoring process and relate them to my own practice in the workplace. I shall examine the role of guidance and its importance as a fundamental of a good mentor/mentee relationship. Most people are familiar with the origins of mentorship in the business world, where the mentor was often an older wiser businessman who passed down knowledge and contacts to the up and coming high-flier. Nowadays mentorship is not only used in the business world, but in most settings forms part of a structured aid to learning There are several elements that are important: * The programme should be a structured and supported ...read more.


"Like any close involvement, the relationship between the mentor and prot�g� has the potential to become emotionally charged"( Murray & Owen 1991) . On operational duties crews routinely spend twelve hours together and witness a variety of emotive situations that can force them together. Where there is a burgeoning mentor/mentee relationship it becomes incumbent on the mentor to carefully consider the limits. Mentor qualities such as trustworthiness, credibility, commitment, discipline, patience, communication skills etc, all become tested in an intense atmosphere of long day and night shifts in sometimes difficult circumstances. Anna Guest suggests that, "Companies have a duty to provide mentors and mentees with a clear framework for the relationship" (Coaching & Mentoring Network 2001) Clearly this is not presently happening in my workplace. But would the situation improve if a structured scheme were put in place? I would like now to look at the potential advantages and disadvantages of a structured mentorship model in my workplace. Advantages Murray and Owen (1991) list some of the benefits of a structured program as follows: * -Productivity. This has limited validity in my workplace. In fact it has been shown that where training is going on, productivity in the form of turnaround is reduced. As this is so important to managers it becomes an area of conflict between the operational and training departments. ...read more.


Hence the current situation will continue and where it works it will continue to work well. Perhaps that is not such a bad thing. "A deep irony is that often, the more organised and structured we make mentoring, the less likely it is to work" (Gibbons, Coaching & Mentoring Network, 2002) He adds, "even the best intentioned efforts to make mentoring work can founder as it will have its most positive effect when it evolves naturally, often without consciously considering mentoring is happening at all" This describes my workplace well. Despite a haphazard approach the natural approach works very well when it does happen. Were the ambulance service to set up a structured approach I would be worried that formality could have a negative effect. Undoubtedly the introduction of such a scheme would be given a low priority, mainly because we have unique problems with access of the participants to each other. Other than as crews of two we are a very disparate group of workers who have always found it hard to come together. A method which allows mentees to choose their mentors though necessary would be difficult to support. A potential solution would possibly be the introduction of I.T. as a means of enhancing communication. The service is due to introduce networking to stations across the county soon. Its possible that this will facilitate communication in a way which we have not seen before. ...read more.

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