Would you learn from a mentor

Guest author Dr. Frank Edelkraut: How mentors perceive mentoring

Our guest author Dr. Frank Edelkraut is the managing director of Mentus GmbH and director of studies and an expert in the field of mentoring. Today he is concerned with the role of the mentor in mentoring. An aspect that is often overlooked. Read his post here: Many are not yet who are active as mentors. The method has been around for centuries, but relatively few companies use it in modern personnel development. Mentoring is mostly used to promote young talent.

One of the goals of personnel development: Experienced managers pass on their experience to young colleagues and support them in their personal and professional development.

What is the motivation behind the activity as a mentor and how do the mentors actually perceive the mentoring? We examined these and other questions in a study that asked more than 60 mentors from all hierarchical levels. (Edelkraut, Graf; The Mentor - Role, Expectations, Reality; Pabst Science Publishers, ISBN 978-3-89967-723-2).

According to her motivation When asked, many participants in the mentoring program answered very similarly. In short, the vast majority would like to see the offspring successful, learn for themselves and thereby maintain a certain level of grip. Naturally, this is quickly lost on the upper hierarchical levels. The intensive cooperation with the mentees is an excellent opportunity to receive direct, fast and unadulterated feedback. The overarching goal of the mentors is to achieve their goals, i.e. above all to improve the performance and development of the mentees.

Those who commit themselves as mentors and invest time and work despite their busy schedule, of course, have expectations. The mentors expect their mentees to be on an equal footing with the mentors through goal orientation and commitment and to give them impulses for their own work. Then, in an interesting way, the mentors also see the opportunity for further development as a person and manager for themselves.

Tag cloud from the answers to the question what expectations the mentors had of working with the mentees:

Eye level“Between mentor and mentee makes perfect sense in an ever faster and more complex economy, as the need for learning for each individual is constantly increasing. The interactive learning from experience in a mentoring program fits perfectly with the challenges of the time, but at the same time the traditional notion of the experienced mentor and the inexperienced mentee must be put to the test. In future, the combination of the tandems should therefore primarily be based on who can learn what from whom and which secondary effects (e.g. networking across departments and company boundaries) can be achieved. Here the HR departments are called upon to exert more influence and to ensure a professional conception and implementation. Then mentoring can be even more effective than it is today.

How comprehensive mentors Considering their commitment is an example of the statement made by a sales director at an IT company: "The commitment for a younger generation is definitely worthwhile in order to generally lead the wayto raise ng culture. Particularly in our hectic times with strong tendencies towards burn-outs and stress overload, a “decent” management culture seems to be highly endangered. You can see that clearly in the descriptions of the mentees. It is therefore important to convey that you can do business fairly and decently - and make a career! "


In the concrete collaboration In the tandem, one of the goals of personnel development is clearly on the career development of the mentee. Something like the way the Director of Customer Service of a telecommunications company describes it from working with her mentee: “The cooperation was consistently positive, we talked about leadership and networking among colleaguesn. It was about the area of ​​tension that arises when employees become managers and the first activities as managers in the new area of ​​responsibility. In addition, it is about the topic of networking in management. We also discussed how managers are perceived by employees; but the expectations of the next higher manager from the new manager. We also have the fundamental role of a leaderdiscussed in the group. "

Since the mentors also expect further development in themselves, it was exciting to find out which ones effect the mentoring has on the mentors themselves. Two thirds of the respondents reported that their management behavior towards their own employees has changed. The constant self-reflection and the intensive exchange with the mentee led to a leadership behavior that is more characterized by questions and participation of the employees. This is how a Participatory management style, which is viewed positively by the employees leading to better business results at the same time. Of those who did not perceive any change, the vast majority had not been active as a mentor for a long time or had been a manager for many years and therefore already “well developed”.

For the Tofuture We expect mentoring to be much more widespread after this study at the latest. The great successes and the lasting positive changes among all those involved and the high level of acceptance by the mentors make it one of the most effective instruments of personnel development. So it is not surprising that all of the mentors surveyed (100%) want to continue to be active as mentors in the future and take part in a mentoring program. Or as a department head of a bank states in his conclusion: "It was a lot of fun, I have onemet great people and their work environment! We were both able to learn from each other's experiences and take away some tricks and tips. "

Dr. Frank Edelkraut is managing partner of Mentus GmbH and management trainer. As an interim manager in human resources, he has supported various companies in management positions for more than 15 years. With Mentus GmbH, he is now concentrating entirely on the topic of mentoring and advising companies on setting up professional mentoring programs and qualifying mentors.

You can find more information about our guest author at www.mentus.de