In business mentoring relationships, we assert particular behavior when communicating. We revert to the style which works best for us. Becoming aware of our preferred style, especially when compared to our Mentoring Partner’s preferred style, provides crucial information about how each will be inclined to approach the mentoring relationship, present information, seek out and give feedback, and even draw conclusions about such things as charting the course, measuring progress, and evaluating success.
There is no one best style. As a matter of fact, each style is appropriate and desirable at different stages of the developmental relationship.
One communication style is the Directed Style. This style says:
“I have expertise in this area and will give you what you need to know to be successful.”
The Directed Style is most effective at the start of the mentoring relationship when both the mentee and the relationship itself require strong direction. It is also useful and appropriate to use whenever the mentee ventures into a new area of accomplishment.
In the Directed Style, the communication tends to be one sided, with the mentor “directing” the mentee by:
- Sharing personal experience
- Prescribing a method for success
- Accessing other resources for the mentee
- Providing a step-by-step approach
Does this style sound familiar to you? Do you think you use this type of style in your mentoring relationship? Why or why not?