Mentoring Vs Managing: Does It Have To Be One Or The Other?

Some of you may ask, is there a difference between mentoring and managing? Well, I heard on a MSNBC news report a little while back saying that 85% of Gen Y interns expect to be mentored through their internship experience. And, more than that, they expect that mentorship to be meaningful, engaging, and beneficial to their future careers. The same report also indicated what Gen Y's don't expect is to be managed. Mentored, not managed. To those of us who work with Gen Y's daily, this distinction is no surprise. The surprise is there is now a real conversation taking place about these two very different approaches. So, what is the difference between mentoring and managing? According to Webster's Dictionary, to manage is "to handle or direct with a degree of skill; to make and keep compliant; to exercise executive, administrative, and supervisory direction." Adversely, to mentor is defined as "to serve as a trusted counselor or guide; to provide expertise to less experienced individuals; to build a relationship based upon communication." From the definitions, it seems apparent that these two supervisory methodologies are polar opposites, mutually exclusive. But do they have to be? Is today's "manager" in place to keep the staff compliant, on task, and focused on the bottom line? Is it possible for a manager to also be a mentor? Yes, it is not only possible, but for the success of most businesses today, especially those hiring in Gen Y's, it is imperative leadership blend both supervisory strategies into their methodology.


It's Not Mentoring vs Managing, It's Mentoring AND Managing

How does one blend managing and mentoring? By implementing these ABC's:

A = Assess Proactively

Mentors plan strategically based upon an intern's (or employee's) capabilities, strengths, and areas of growth. Being proactive reduces the standard reactive management technique of many managers.

B = Build A "Developmental" Relationship

Dr. David Thomas of Harvard Business School coined this phrase bases it upon the experiences the intern has as he/she is engages in work. A developmental relationship relies on communication and engagement, and it thrives in a culture where experiential questioning is encouraged.

C = Collaborate And Listen

Vanilla Ice had the beat and this concept down. Mentoring must be a mixture of collaborative conversation and active listening, for the mentor and mentee alike. Working together the manager and intern should work together to create a clear plan of action for the internship experience. Incorporating these ABC's into a management strategy, will create a more meaningful experience for the intern and bring a greater sense of satisfaction and success to the mentor.

Related Posts:

5 Goals To Reach Before Opening Your Own Business Put Your Talents To Work For Yourself: How To Finance Your Own Business Had It With Corporate America? Start Your Own Business And Save Your Career Photo Credit: Shutterstock

When most people think of Nike, they think of shoes, retail stores, and, of course, athletes. That's all true, but there's more. Behind Nike's walls, you'll find the doers and thinkers who design, create, and innovate every day. There are also data scientists who discover and leverage athlete insights to create the future of sport.

You might be surprised to learn about the impact you can have in Data & Analytics at Nike versus at a major tech giant. Nike employees get to work on a wide array of challenges, so if you're obsessed with math, science, computers, and/or data, and you love sport, these stories may inspire you to work at Nike.

SHOW MORE Show less

Employee loyalty is something every company longs for. It's estimated employee turnover costs as much as 130-200% of an employee's salary. When a talented, knowledgeable, trained employee leaves, it's bad for business. And, when lots of them leave, it can be the kiss of death.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the interview situation one of our viewers, Remi submitted. He was in an interview and was asked the question: How many cows are there in Canada right now? - What a weird question but this is a technique that some hiring managers are using these days.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Kevin submitted. He is a college student who's working a part time job to make ends meet. The manager/owner of the company has become a micro-manager who watches him work on camera and reads his company emails. A bit over the top wouldn't you say?

SHOW MORE Show less

All work and no play can create a tense and unwelcoming environment. Studies have shown that employers that offer additional perks have employees that are happier and more loyal to their place of employment. If you are looking for an employer that acknowledges how important it is to give its employees a place to de-stress and bond with their co-workers, check out these companies!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if you worked for an owner who micro-manages you my watching you work on camera and reading through your company emails.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less