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Defining skill of mentoring

Published on Thursday, 17 May 2012
Illustration: Bay Leung

"Mentoring supports and encourages people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they aspire to be."

That is the definition supplied by Eric Parsole, who is director of the Oxford School of Coaching and Mentoring in the UK.

Mentoring is essentially a partnership between two people - the mentor and the mentee.

A mentor is a guide who can help a mentee to find the right direction, and who can also assist in developing solutions to career or professional development issues.

A mentor provides guidance and encouragement by asking questions, and challenges the mentees to confront issues facing them, albeit in a non-threatening way.

Mentoring allows the mentee the chance to explore new ideas in confidence.

It is a chance for the mentee to look more closely at himself or herself, as well as the various issues confronting them, and the many available opportunities.

Most crucially of all, it also enables them to decide what they want to get out of life.

Next week, this column will be taking a closer look at the differences between the skills of mentoring and coaching.

Christine Sim, general manager for search and recruitment, Links Recruitment Singapore

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