Monday, November 12, 2012

Calling it mentoring doesn't make it so

Mentoring appears to be the latest buzzword meant to convey everything from coaching to networking to teaching to asking a how-to question. It's like a sauce poured on top of any topic and voila! it's now "mentoring".

Let's be clear:
  • If I ask you a question and you help with the answer - that's not mentoring - that's asking a question
  • If you're my manager and you need me to get better at what I'm doing for you /the team - that's not mentoring - that's coaching
  • If we find we're taking the same course and study together - that's not mentoring - that's studying together
  • If I meet you and we have a great coffee discussion - that's not mentoring - that's building a relationship /networking
  • If I'm looking for a job or sales lead - that's not networking - that's a transaction
If I ask you to help me work through a long-term development plan and view of myself, to be a safe place where I can discuss the tougher questions - anything from heart-held career goals to work/life balance to office politics to self-doubt - then you're mentoring me.

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