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“The Role of Mentoring,” by Michael Stephens, Article Critique Example

Pages: 2

Words: 559

Article Critique

Michael Stephens article discusses the value of having a strong mentor during the first few years of an individual’s professional experience. Since these individuals have worked the position for several years, they are fully aware of the minor details necessary to perform well at the job and to ensure that the trainee is able to develop adequate skills during the training period. The mentoring relationship therefore requires that the new professional examine his or her current abilities in addition to the need for growth, while the mentor can help these individual determine relevant weaknesses and provide helpful next steps for professional development.

While a majority of mentoring relationships focus on the need to develop work and professional skills, it is also important to consider that the mentor could help the new employee facilitate the social aspect of the workplace. Building ties with employees and understanding their job functions can effectively benefit a new hire just as much as working towards professional development goals will accomplish.

The author raises the question of the need to establish formal and informal mentorships to ensure that new employees are able to learn the skills that they need in order to remain successful during the duration of employment. It would have been beneficial for the author to provide more information about this aspect of the mentorship program so the reader could discern the difference between informal and formal mentorship practices. Furthermore, it would have been helpful for the author to include information about how to determine whether these programs are offered at their place of work. Some workers in larger organizations set this system up for their employees, but it may be more challenging to find a workplace mentor in a smaller workplace. Thus, different resources are available for different employees and more information is needed to help employees understand what these resources are and if any are available outside of the workplace, such as online.

Overall, the author’s reasoning was deductive and he provided good explanations for his claims. However, a majority of his arguments would have benefitted by being more detailed to provide new workers with information needed to acquire the skills necessary with the help of a mentor. For example, simply setting up a mentoring relationship is not sufficient for success. Instead, it is important for this relationship to be a positive one and to ensure that the mentor has time to provide to the mentoring process. It is possible that not all mentoring relationships are effective. Even in cases in which there is good chemistry between the mentor and the mentee, the mentor may not have a good teaching ability, which could have a negative impact on the relationship.

To compensate for the shortfalls related to inner office mentoring relationships, it would be beneficial to implement mentoring through social media or e-mail. In this manner, professionals from diverse fields could work together in order to accomplish professional development goals. This is ideal when an individual’s organization is small and he or she feels that they would benefit more greatly from an expanded professional network. Overall, however, I agree with the author’s conclusions in that it is important to establish effective mentoring relationships early in the work career. These relationships provide new employees with necessary direction to help them begin their new jobs on the right foot.

References

Stephens, M. (2011). The Role of Mentoring. Retrieved from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2011/09/opinion/michael-stephens/the-role-of-mentoring-office-hours/

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