Business Mentoring Matters


Posted on Wed, Mar, 10, 2010

As technology develops, it has become an important tool in managing mentoring programs.  Technology also creates an entrepreneurial opportunity for those providing online mentoring solutions.  This is all well and good but if you are looking to sift through the various systems be aware that there is a difference!

Most of the recent new online system providers are really marketing a tool for matching often coupled with a  heavy coaching component.  These should rightfully be classified as online coaching systems but many purveyors are attempting to grab the mentoring market and so use the term "mentoring" instead.  It's not an attempt to mislead but an attempt to grab market share.  One can understand this approach but you have to ask yourself how much this purveyor knows about real mentoring.

How can you tell the difference between a true mentoring online system and those that aren't?  A true mentoring system is focused on components that create and support the building of a relationship with a matching component focused on achieving successful matches through establishing the best relationship.  In such systems, you will not see the emphasis on assessments and measurements as heavily as you do with systems disguised as mentoring.  A system heavily dependent upon assessments and measuring results is performance based.  In many respects, these systems complement the management role.  Many companies are attracted to this marketing pitch because it promises results which it may deliver but it isn't mentoring.  True mentoring, on the other hand, relies on a confidential, professional relationship built on trust and focused on development and not on performance.  The relationship is outside the managerial chain of command to allow for an honest and open relationship to develop that will bring about real change in the mentoree as opposed to simply gaining a new skill or piece of knowledge.

In short, in coaching systems disguised as mentoring, the focus is on performance results and has the feel of a coaching/performance system.  True mentoring systems are focused on process whereby, through the mutually trustful relationship, mentorees have the opportunity to share those issues that challenge their success so that they can be transformed in the process to achieve greater success.  That is a significant difference!

Tags: Mentoring Software & Tools