Mentoring. Rådgivning eller hjælp-til-selvhjælp?
Workplace mentoring programmes for new employees are time limited and aim to end with the mentee continuing on the job without the help of a mentor. But how can a mentor both give professional advice and experience-based instructions and at the same time facilitate the mentee’s own problem understanding and problem solving? This would entail helping both as an expert adviser and as a coach, which – according to Schein’s (1999; 2010) theory on helper conversations – cannot happen simultaneously. However, through analysis of a video-observed mentoring conversation and through interviews, this article shows how this can be done in practice when mentoring conversations are scheduled, when participants respect mutual confidentiality, when the mentor has knowledge of and is skilled in facilitating helper conversations, and when inputs and professional advice are given from a standpoint of genuine interest in the mentee, so that both emotional and cognitive recognition of the newly employed person is possible (Honneth, 2006).
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