I was inspired to write today’s blog after reading the most recent article in T & D Magazine (September 2009) titled: 21st Century Mentoring: Shifting the Shape of Mentoring. A word to the wise: Don’t rush to get a copy. The article was simply a rehash of best practices with nothing particularly new or “21st century” about it. Essentially the article discusses the value of an e-mentoring portal, the social networking aspects of mentoring and the use of webinars for training. Nothing new there! What is also frustrating in this article is that it really speaks more to a coaching model than a mentoring one. When will people realize that mentoring is about having a supportive and developmental relationship and not about knowledge transfer as such!
So to the readers out there, when reading about mentoring, the first thing you should notice is whether the article or book is promoting a mentoring view or coaching disguised as mentoring. It’s important to know the difference as what one might do in terms of supporting a mentoring relationship is not the same as what one might do in supporting coaching. I’ve already written an article on the 25 key differences between coaching and mentoring so won’t repeat here but it would be nice if people who write about a subject knew what they were talking about.