Business Mentoring Matters

Mentoring Theory Catches Up To Mentoring Reality!

Posted on Wed, Jul, 07, 2010

I was just reviewing a resource that was published in 2007: The Handbook of Mentoring At Work: Theory, Research, and Practice edited by Ragins and Kram. Although a lot of the information is theoretical so not a great resource for practitioners, it was nice to see on article on Relational Cultural Theory because as I read it I began to see that what we at Management Mentors have been doing for 22 years is what is called Relational Mentoring.

The article presents a contrast (not a contradiction) between what is traditional mentoring and what they call relational mentoring. Here are a couple of examples:

Traditional mentoring: The focus is on the self (mentoree)

Relational mentoring: The focus is on the self-in-Relation

Traditional mentoring: One-directional learning

Relational mentoring: Two-directional mentoring. I have found this true in each of the programs we've done. Successful relationships report that both mentors and mentorees gain and learn through the mentoring experience.

Traditional mentoring: Hiearchical mode of influence

In relational mentoring, growth occurs in connection with the partner; whereas in traditional mentoring, it's the mentor conveying his/her experience and expertise to the mentoree to assist in the mentoree's development.

It was satisfying to read the article and recognize that theory is finally catching up to practice.

Tags: Business Mentoring Articles & News