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My Boss came to me and said he want's to mentor me. M&M say that it is impossible to be mentored by your boss and I totally agree. I can just imagine showing him my resume....He'd never trust me again. Also the first qualification of an MT mentor is that they are someone you admire...not the case here...we butt heads often and I dislike his management style.

He gave me topics though: Relationships building (networking etc...) and Multitasking (I'm honestly not sure where he's going with this one.)

So since he had specfic topics, I was thought I would try to spin this into the MT coaching circle instead of "mentoring".
Does that sound like a good plan? :?:

How should I go about the ask in this case?
THANKS!

TomW's picture

There are some areas of skill he wants to improve, not work on your long term career goals. That's coaching, not mentoring you.

He does not need to see your resume for that (why would he not trust you if he saw it?)

If he has something to offer you, I would say to learn it. You can never know too much.

WillDuke's picture

I'm on board with Tom. Who cares what he calls it. If he wants to help out, let him. If he broaches a topic you're uncomfortable with, tell him.

It sounds like a nice well-intentioned offer. Tell him you appreciate it and let him help you out.

antbug1978's picture

[quote]
He does not need to see your resume for that (why would he not trust you if he saw it?) [/quote]
I just meant he would assume that I was ready to leave the company.

Thanks Tom and Will. That's what I was thinking. I hope he makes good on the offer.

US41's picture

Oh, I don't know. I've been the recipient of some boss mentoring that was pure torture: bad advice laden with manipulation and emotional coercion. I believe that caution is a good approach.

Give him a chance, but be aware it could possibly turn into a very uncomfortable work situation. The employee who finds their boss's "mentoring" to be akin to advice to jump off a cliff can end up despising life at work and needing to leave as a result.

That's why coaching is effective: it leaves the learning to the person being coached rather than making the manager a pedantic guru king. Training is also effective, because it is direct show-you-how instruction.

But "mentoring" seems more like a pull activity to me, rather than a push activity. I think I would avoid mentoring someone unless they gave me the impression they were requesting such a relationship.

Just be cautious yet open-minded.

My own response gives me pause about my own behavior at work and how I possibly come across. Time for a gut-check.

JohnGMacAskill's picture

[quote="WillDuke"]It sounds like a nice well-intentioned offer. Tell him you appreciate it and let him help you out.[/quote]

[quote="US41"]Give him a chance, but be aware it could possibly turn into a very uncomfortable work situation. The employee who finds their boss's "mentoring" to be akin to advice to jump off a cliff can end up despising life at work and needing to leave as a result.
[/quote]

[quote="TomW"]There are some areas of skill he wants to improve, not work on your long term career goals. That's coaching, not mentoring you.
[/quote]

All good advice. When Mike and Mark states that your boss cannot mentor you, they mean that your boss has an agenda that a mentor shouldn't have. As a boss I have the organisation, the team and the direct in mind when I am developing them. That means that I am not 100% in your corner, I will be fair and candid, but I have other responsibilities to balance.

I coach and mentor and it is different.

antbug1978's picture

It's been almost a month since he brought it up and I haven't heard another word about it. I've done some research on the subjects myself but based upon his silence on the whole thing I think it may have been a suggestion from his boss for him to coach me. I don't know...that's pure speculation.

WARNING....VENT OPEN:
O3's are non existent in my company...I have to give on the spot impromptu updates on all of my projects to each of the 3 managers who are NOT my boss and my own boss does not even ask for email updates...I have to volunteer them and he only responds by giving me more tasks that are not related to my projects. CLOSING VENT.

Anyway...It'll be a miracle if I get coached mentored or whatever anyway.

Thanks to all for weighing in!!

WillDuke's picture

So, do you have that TPS form done yet? :lol:

TomW's picture

[quote="WillDuke"]So, do you have that TPS form done yet? :lol:[/quote]

I actually made a "Time Personnel Spent" form once. My peers got a real kick out of it.

Mark's picture

I'm sorry that it took me so long to get to this.

I'm not surprised by what happened. My recommendation would have been to let it continue, and that probably not much would be forthcoming.

He just is using words differently than you do. Coaching, mentoring, feedback, growth, development, blah blah. Poor managers don't know what they are, so how can they know they're different?

Wal-Mart (whom I love) tells employees "if you do this wrong, we're going to coach you tomorrow", implying punitive measures.

Don't overreact to vocabulary, and be careful of disagreeing with your boss.

Mark