Thursday, June 24, 2010
Talking to a friend, we were discussing mentorship and training. I'm on my second internship for ministry that is formal. I have been mentored a number of times in less formal settings and in other formal settings. I see a lot of mentorships fail to meet the development goals. Often they get side tracked. Often people are recruited to be a mentor, but they don't know what to do. They know what a teacher does, but what does a mentor do? So they try to teach and often what they teach are procedures to do a job. In that way people mistake On the Job Training (OJT) for mentoring someone. OJT involves doing tasks that are supervised. A good OJT method is "I do, we do, you do." What that means is that first someone watches the trainer do the task. They talk about it. There is healthy discussion about the task. Then the trainer and the trainee do it together. Lastly the trainer watches the trainee do it. This is good OJT. OJT is training. Mentoring on the other hand assumes that the person already has competencies and he needs to think through the issues with someone else. Again a good discussion about issues, but the mentor talks less about a formal set of procedures and more about topics brought up by the one who is being mentored. A good mentor also is able to point out blind spots for the one being mentored. Mentoring is encouraging.