Mentoring, when done right, is good for the mentor, the mentee, and the mentee’s organization, according to William Rothwell and Peter Chee in their book Becoming an Effective Mentoring Leader: Proven Strategies for Building Excellence in Your Organization. However, most people are confused about the meaning of the words mentor and mentoring, and many do not know how to go about mentoring.
The book goes on to discuss ways of defining mentoring; the job description of a mentor; practical aspects of mentoring including techniques for teaching, reflection, mentoring by example and mentoring by storytelling; how to end a mentoring relationship gracefully; and how to build a mentoring program in an organization. A number of appendices provide useful tools including rating instruments.
The book contains plenty of useful information, but the authors seem to have spent a lot of time concentrating on definitions rather than on inspiring the reader with enthusiasm for the subject matter. A number of benefits for the mentor are mentioned, including personal satisfaction, pride in watching someone grow, winning respect, enhancing reputation, learning by serving, building a network, and achieving greater personal success. Nevertheless, the book as a whole makes it clear that successful mentoring is primarily about giving rather than getting.