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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

Mentoring Is a Two-Way Street

Written By: Catherine Morgan | No Comments

In Carol’s recent post on the Nextiva blog, she makes the case that mentoring doesn’t always happen to the subordinate. In “How Mentorship Goes Both Ways – Management and Employees Should Learn from Each Other” Carol begins:

For many reasons, I generally believe in the concept of the 5 Minute Mentor more than the traditional concept of mentorship. It may be possible, but it’s seldom practical or effective for a knowledgeable person to take someone’s hand over a long time period to guide them toward a successful future. I also believe that mentorship is often a two-way street.

Managers and employees fare best when they learn from each other. The following four principles explain how to encourage an environment where learning flows freely in all directions.

1. A good relationship drives mutual learning

When you talk with your employees, does it usually seem like a monologue? You can’t create relationships from the podium in a lecture hall. Even in school, students learn best from the teachers who interact with them in more friendly and personal ways.

Employees don’t always freely open up around department managers, much less officers of the company. However, a closer relationship empowers your personnel to open up with questions and ideas that can make a real difference to the business. Draw them out, if you need to; some general chit-chat or a joke or two creates a pleasant and informal work environment that opens the doors to mutual learning.

2. Information flows both ways

Most teachers would tell you that they learn as much from their students as the students learn from them. You can do the same, as long as you are prepared to catch the words of wisdom that unexpectedly emanate from your employees.

You can read the rest of the post here.

Article written by
Catherine Morgan is the editor of Business Unplugged ™, an engaging speaker, and the founder of Point A to Point B Transitions Inc., a virtual provider of coaching services to individuals who are in business or career transition. Catherine is the author of the eBook Re-Launch You: Discovering Your Point B and Embracing Possibility. An experienced independent consultant and former employee of three of the former Big Five consulting firms, Catherine combines strategy development with accountability coaching. Her productivity tips and career transition advice have been featured on WGN AM 720 and WIND AM 560 The Answer in Chicago, and on WCHE AM 1520 in the Philadelphia area. Catherine speaks frequently on topics related to productivity, career transition, small business, and entrepreneurship. She doesn’t take herself seriously, but takes her subject matter very seriously.