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Use Group Mentoring to Boost Learning
One-on-one mentoring for leadership development isn’t the only option. Don’t shy away from this lesser used tool.
For leadership development, mentoring has become a proven tool that many organizations have embraced. For some, reverse mentoring — when a younger employee mentors the older, say on new technology — has also become popular.In either situation, the one-on-one interaction an employee has with their mentor can help change behaviors and increase competencies in multiple leadership areas. But one-on-one mentoring isn’t the only game in town; some say there is another form of mentoring that also provides a solid framework for learning and development.Group mentoring is when a cohort of 6-8 mentees — sometimes more — meet once or twice a quarter and, through the leadership of a facilitator or mentor, use their time together to build a collective learning dialogue, according to Rene Petrin, president and owner of Management Mentors Inc., a mentoring consultancy.Just as the relationship between a one-on-one mentor-mentee is ripe for trust and learning, group mentoring also provides a productive and efficient learning environment, said Petrin, whose clients have included The New York Times, UBS and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.What sets group mentoring apart is that it adds another layer to the traditional mentoring relationship: Instead of simply having a mentor, a mentee in a group mentoring environment also has a cast of peer mentors to leverage as resources. “It tends to be much more conversational, more focused on topics rather than the personal issues that [often] get discussed in the one-on-one relationship,” Petrin said.This comes with some advantages and disadvantages, however. For one, Petrin said, the learning is more conversational, which expands the number of resources a mentee has at their disposal. In some instances, group mentoring also allows for a more nuanced discussion of difference topics.On the other hand, there is less of the intimacy provided from a one-on-one — which means less personal attention and critique of individual competencies and behaviors.Still, Petrin said there are some common rules that need to be in place for in-person group mentoring to be successful. The goal of the rules, which Petrin refers to as “norms,” is to make sure that the mentoring group is built on that ever-important ingredient: trust.
The Next Generation of HR: What’s Wrong? What’s Right?
May 23rd 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
Fall 2013 CLO Symposium
September 30th - October 2nd, 2013Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
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