Book Report: Art of Mentoring

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Mentoring is a subset of leadership, an experience too often relegated to the context of situations too soft to be considered corporate. However, Shirley Peddy shows that mentoring is one of the core facets of enterprise-level leadership. In the Art of Mentoring: Lead, Follow, and Get Out of the Way, Peddy illustrates the definition of mentoring, the role of mentoring in organizational culture, and techniques for effective mentoring.

The title of the book sets the stage for what is to come, clearly defining mentoring as an art and not a science. After all, diversity precludes mentoring from being anything quantifiable. What is quantifiable are the results that come from effective mentoring programs that are adopted by organizations. This is one of the reasons why Shirley Peddy is an in-demand public speaker whose views and techniques on mentoring are being employed to transform corporate culture, individual performance, and overall productivity in the workplace.

Because workplaces are comprised of employees from vastly different personal backgrounds, it is impossible to create a one size-fits-all approach to mentoring. In fact, age and other critical variables will impact the effectiveness of mentoring. Mentors are almost always synonymous with being "older," even if they are not actually old. The image of a mentor in the philanthropic sector would be that of a Big Brother or Big Sister, who serves as a mentor for a young child or adolescent. In the workplace, it would likewise seem that mentors would be employees who are older -- and perceived wiser. At the same time, Shirley Peddy and other theorists on mentoring neglect the fact that age cannot and should not be viewed as a defining feature of the mentor -- mentee relationship. For example, a young person can quite readily become an effective mentor for an older person in fields like Internet usage and information technology. There are absolutely no hard and fast rules when it comes to defining mentoring, implementing a mentoring program, and developing the techniques with which to mentor others.

Early in the Art of Mentoring: Lead, Follow, and Get Out of the Way, Shirley Peddy presents two of the most common challenges mentors face in their professional lives. The first is the mentee who has no idea what his or her goals are, or even what questions to ask. When the mentee approaches the mentor, he or she may place undue pressure or expectations on the relationship. The mentee expects to be made perfect, molded by the mentor. Alternatively, the directionless mentee expects to have his or her hand held the whole way. Mentees who expect promotions simply be participating in a mentor program are also problematic. Shirley Peddy provides the specific ways of dealing with the communications that can arise at this early stage in the mentoring process. However, the author could have done a better job addressing some of the issues that do arise at this stage. The mentor that expects too much, or who misunderstands the mentoring relationship should probably read Shirley Peddy's book the Art of Mentoring: Lead, Follow, and Get Out of the Way.

The second problem that can arise early in the mentoring relationship is the mentee who knows all the answers, and is simply seeking "confirmation" from the mentor of his or her inherent greatness (Peddy 2001, p. 25). In this case, the mentor might act defensively and sabotage the relationship. Yet Peddy (2001) points out that sometimes all the mentor needs to do is to offer a coach's pep talk that reinforces the mentee's strengths.

The art of mentoring, according to Peddy… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Art of Mentoring.  (2010, December 9).  Retrieved November 21, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/art-mentoring/1449

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"Art of Mentoring."  9 December 2010.  Web.  21 November 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/art-mentoring/1449>.

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"Art of Mentoring."  Essaytown.com.  December 9, 2010.  Accessed November 21, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/art-mentoring/1449.