Developing leaders and managers via Mentoring

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This essay provide information on role of mentoring in leadership and management development.

This essay provide information on role of mentoring in leadership and management development.

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  • 1. Developing Leaders via Mentoring Organizations use variety of tools and techniques for development of its people in general and for leadership and management development in particular. Coaching and mentoring are some of the key techniques used by organizations. Thus, it is important to know what is mentoring and how it can facilitate leadership and management development skills. Kram (1985) as cited in Burgess and Dyer (2009: pg. 465) define mentoring as: “a relationship between a young adult and an older, more experienced adult that helps the younger individual learn to navigate in the adult world and the world of work. A mentor supports guides and counsels the young adult as he or she accomplishes this important task”. Murray and Owen (1991) as cited in Gay (1994: pg. 4) state that: “facilitated mentoring is a structure and series of processes designed to create effective mentoring relationships, guide the desired behaviour change of those involved, and evaluate the results for the protégés, the mentors and the organisation”. Other defines mentoring as “The process in which an experienced veteran helps to shape or guide a newcomer” (Brown as cited in Appelbaum et al, 1994: pg. 3). There is a little difference between mentoring and coaching, the former could be extremely structured or may be more open (relationship based), whereas later is goal focused and involve practical type of one-on-one learning (CIPD, 2013). Mentoring has important Wahab Khan Page 1
  • 2. Developing Leaders via Mentoring role in development, and therefore its significance will be further discussed from leadership development perspective. Mentoring, coaching, 360-degree feedback, job assignments, experimental learning and commercial case studies are useful techniques for both line managers and senior executives for leadership development. Mentoring programs play central role in developing leadership styles, which consequently put organization on the right path to accomplish its objective. Leadership and management development theories also propose that mentoring is the key method in developing individuals. In addition, Abraham Zaleznik suggests that mentors take risk with people, which help in the development of key leadership skills. Mentoring is a developmental relationship which enhances individual development. Furthermore, globally, mentoring technique is enormously popular, in UK, 80 percent of senior executives have described mentoring as key to their success, whereas 70 percent of top 500 firms in the USA have used mentoring technique. Mentors are also described as people who facilitate new leaders to learn the tricks, and consequently mentees portray their mentors as leading role models, which benefit the mentees in the form of learning new skills. Thus, not only mentoring techniques help in the development of new leaders but it also helps in the development of top and middle level managers’ leadership skills. Appropriate mentoring system in organizations not only develops quality leadership, but that also brings new skill for mentees, organizations and mentors as well. Executive mentoring technique helps junior executives to develop leadership skills, for instance on the job, senior executives encourage mentees to learn and practice skills. Some steps are valuable for choosing the right mentor in order to develop mentee for effective leadership, first step is choosing a mentor who is not directly or indirectly involved in reporting relationship, second step involve assigning senior and interested leaders as mentors who would like to share knowledge one-on-one with mentee. In third step, competent higher executives with strong communication and listening skills should be selected, and they must possess right ability to develop others. Furthermore, mentors should be good narrators who can share his personal experience with mentees. Fifth step involve choosing generous mentors, who can be available to assist mentee at any time, and last but not least good mentors must have the ability to apply mentee’s learning into practice and share wide range of his personal development experiences. In addition, mentoring technique facilitate change in organizational culture by creating learning environment, which consequently facilitates leadership and management development. Furthermore, Mentoring benefit both protégés and mentors, protégés (mentee) learn leadership skills with the help of mentor’s support or via observing mentors’ leadership traits, likewise, mentors also develop their management traits in leading and managing protégés. Another key method for developing personal or professional capabilities by mentors is to assign the recipient or protégé a difficult and Wahab Khan Page 2
  • 3. Developing Leaders via Mentoring complicated assignment. Group mentoring is one of the key techniques in making and developing new leadership skills, survey results indicate that 75 percent of the respondents agreed that group mentoring helped them in the learning leadership skills. Therefore, individuals can develop leadership skills with the help of mentor support, and in addition group mentoring also prove to be useful in the development of making new leadership. Furthermore, leadership also develops when they interact with environmental events and features. Mentors assign difficult job roles for leaders to learn from a new perspective. Therefore, mentors develop leaders by giving challenging roles as that will encourage individuals to learn from a different perspective. Moreover, effective mentoring programs should be designed, for instance Nynex designed mentoring program purposely for the development of women leadership, which involved “mentoring circles”, and proved to be more effective compared to one to one relationship. Mentoring circles included six to ten mentee and two to four senior mentors, who used to meet up regularly for 12 to 18 months. Mentoring alone cannot develop mentee and mentor without proper evaluation, and mentoring must be designed for achieving specific targets. Therefore, mentoring technique will turn out to be more effective in developing leaders, if clear developmental goals and objectives are set. Furthermore, mentor’s networking is vital to managerial success, and managers must build mentoring relationships with talented workers in various business units, as mentor’s networking is more effective than usual one-on-one mentoring. Leading companies develop potential employees with the help of internal mentoring programs, where they are paired with senior leaders for learning. Thus, internal networking in organization facilitates leadership development, and talented individuals can be further flourished by pairing them with veteran leaders. To conclude, mentoring techniques assist in the development of new leaders as well as in the development of top and middle level manager’s leadership skills. Individuals can develop leadership skills with the help of mentor support, and in addition group mentoring also prove to be useful in the development of making new leadership. Mentors develop and strengthen leadership skills by giving challenging roles as that encourage individuals to learn from a different perspective. Mentoring techniques turn out to be more effective in developing leaders, if clear developmental goals and objectives are set. Internal networking in organization facilitates leadership development, and talented individuals can be further flourished by pairing them with veteran leaders. Wahab Khan Page 3
  • 4. Developing Leaders via Mentoring PDF version is available at: http://www.slideshare.net/wahabk999 (Note: The use of this material is free provided copyright (Khan, 2014) is acknowledged and reference or link is made to the (http://www.wahabkhan18.blogspot.com/. All information provided in this blog is provided for information purposes only. Reliance on information and material shall be at your sole risk, and the author assumes no responsibility for any errors, omissions, or damages arising to organisations and practitioners. Content and materials on this blog may not be sold, or published in any form, without permission from the Author.) Wahab Khan Page 4