mentoring - Symposium Learning

June 2, 2021

Reading Time: 2 minutes

A concise and straightforward workbook for those who intend to become a mentor in their workplace. The easy to follow content and chapter breakdown, provides friendly worksheets to complete during the reading and allow the aspirant mentor to begin reflective work on own motivation, belief on what mentoring is and create of next steps towards further education

The book opens with the idea core to mentoring is the development of latent abilities, in those named as the mentees: listening, exchange of knowledge, skills and opportunities are essential to a constructive and efficient mentoring experience.

G.Shea suggests that a good friendship, where effective listening and support has occurred, should be considered a real mentoring relationship. Allowing for Informal as well as short-term associations, mentoring is about development, interchange of viewpoints and encouragement towards a professional and winning behaviours.

Most of all mentoring is about going the extra mile:

“Most of us have known many good and competent teachers (…) The fortunate ones among us have also encountered teachers who have lit a spark within us, who opened new vistas and dimensions before us, who touched us deeply and who awakened and encouraged our potential” (page 23)

Some key points for effective mentoring

  • Focus on what is done following the mentor’s help, rather than how
  • The desire of the mentee to be independent is essential
  • The empowering mentors may just involve in good listening which will allow the mentee to find the solution by him/herself.

Without doubt mentoring is a path to change and Shea reminds its reader of 5 key bullet points of change management (page 37) which include: share vision, time, behaviour adjustment, coping and internalisation of the change.

The workbook prompts to the different ways listening, the most essential aspect of mentoring, occurs. Mentoring requires active listening, respectful listening, listening for feelings, listening for motivation.

Mentors are to refrain from giving advices: if during the conversation the mentee retorts with “Yes, but…” the mentor must halt and reflect on how the relationship might be shifting towards problem-solving or coaching rather than remain in the constructive area of mentoring:

Mentoring is a reciprocal, mutual relations between equals working together: the mentor will have a gaining relationship by sharing his/her own motivation openly with the mentee.

When mentoring as a manager more care in the disclosure of objectives and a plan to revision must be discussed: this will ensure that seniority will give assurance of competence and not of become a measure of performance expectations, which can be covered by other aspects of the relationship.



Gordon F. Shea

Crisp Publication Inc.


77 pages

ISBN: 0 7494 – 0881 -2

Interactive Worksheets

Available on Amazon

Further Reading

March 30, 2021

Reading Time: 3 minutesInteraction with specialist trainer gives the highest level of assurance that the training courses selected address the real learning needs of managers. While e-learning makes vast and high-quality content easily accessible, blended learning offers calibration by expanding and clarifying on leadership needs.

What is Blended Learning

Blended learning can be generically defined as a structured learning interaction between learners, subject contents and a learning facilitator. 

Technology-mediated education includes synchronous learning, when students and instructors have a real-time interaction as well as asynchronous learning, when the learner has independent and autonomous access to subject matter content from digital resources like videos, case studies as well as the traditional text books. 

Blended Learning and E-Learning

Independent access to digital content is often simplified by the term e- learning. E-learning makes vast and high-quality content easily available to learners by removing obstacles of time and place. Thanks to is affordability it has been used extensive for workplace learning: from tactical skillsets like Data Analytics to more complex subjects such as leadership and motivation.

The advantage of e-learning is the variety and quality of method of delivery of content when compared to traditional text books. Webinars and videos tutorials are engaging and are powerful resources, often of brief length, that focus on specific aspect of the programmes helping the learner’s understanding. Gamification allows a learner to interact independently with the content, to experiment and it dynamically supports the prerequisite of repetition as a learning tool. Both video and gamification provide the learner with instruments to experience knowledge progression and reward systems which support engagement with the subject matter. 

The disadvantage of e-learning is the one-sidedness of the experience. As e-learning that does not include real time interaction with the author, e-leaning offers extremely limited opportunity to relate the content with the specific supervisor’s learning needs. Most digital content is generic and not necessarily beneficial to the leader’s progression.

Assurance that the training courses address the real learning needs is best achieved via interaction with a specialist trainer. Most subjects require contextualisation and specifically for leadership and management trainings this is grounded in a two-way process of communication. The facilitator has the ability to calibrate the content by expanding, simplifying, paraphrasing, reducing and clarifying key learning points by anticipating the learning needs based on observation and interaction. When a learner has direct contact with an expert trainer opportunity of deep learning, which translates in behavioural change, can occur.

Organisations therefore must provide hybrid learning educational plans and give to the learners the opportunity to access high quality and quantity of content via e-learning as well as to benefit from interaction with subject matters experts. 

Blended learning programmes combine effectively and seamlessly expert know-how with e-learning content and gamification programs.  

How to Create a Blended Learning Plan

To build appropriate blended learning plans, an organisation can

  1. Invest in an e-learning library for all managers and encourage completion of programmes 
  2. Engage specialised trainers to supervise the creation of the library and selection of the content.
  3. Invest in building case studies repositories personalised to the specific industry and size of the organisation
  4. Encourage leaders exchange of feedback on e-learning programmes offered.
  5. Create opportunity for practice with support by expert trainer in application of the knowledge 
  6. Offer Virtual and/or In Person real time sessions with expert trainers to expand on specific subjects 
  7. Recommend Mentoring Programmes with experts in the leadership subject matters 
  8. Assess regularly effectiveness by appraising key business performances and employee engagement.

The leaner supervisor will access high quantity of content and diversity of points of view while being guided in self-reflection by experts. Trainers encourage motivation to progress further in the learning journey and identify specific learning blockages in a timely manner.

Leadership and Performance Management rely on the enhancement of specific skills which cannot be fully explored via e-learning resources. Organisations must pay sufficient attention to how key competencies such as Emotional Intelligence, Change Management and Diversity are acquired and ensure that contextualisation is made available.