The Importance Of Reciprocal Mentoring

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Brad Johnson and David G. Smith tried to emphasize in their article, “Mentoring Women Is Not About Trying to “Rescue” Them”, the importance of reciprocal mentoring instead of a traditional mentor-mentee hierarchy. They particularly highlighted how male mentors and sponsors are essential for helping women to get ahead with their career. They backed up their claim with a research that examines the organizational context on relationships between senior‐male mentors and objective and subjective career outcomes among midcareer managers and professionals. In the article, they mentioned that when women are mentored by men, they make more money, receive more promotions, and report greater satisfaction with their career trajectories. Although mentoring…show more content…
Cross-gender reciprocal mentorships are essentially partnerships in which men and women play complementary roles leading to career and personal development for both parties, and ultimately, greater gender equality in the workplace. Technically, this type of mentorship underlines the importance of sharing power, instead of concentrating in the hands of the mentors, as well as the elimination of hierarchy. Reciprocal mentorships have unique elements for both parties. For instance, it emphasizes mutual listening and affirmation, which means both members learn and grow from the relationship, instead of the mentee alone. This obviously requires, that the mentor (in this case men) to have an open mind, maintain a learning orientation, and also recognize that expertise may shift depending on the phase of the mentorship. Moreover, humility is the second crucial characteristic as a result of a reciprocal mentorship. Real mentors are humble and recognize that their own vulnerability and imperfection serves as an empowering model for other people. They try to level the playing field by their wisdom and empathy. It is important for the mentor to be transparent with what he/she knows and to show real curiosity about a mentee’s unique experience in the workplace. This feeds into the first point where mentors should maintain a learning orientation as well as…show more content…
Reciprocal mentorship members are interested in helping one another find success beyond simply career advancement and compensation. For instance, reciprocal mentorship may center on concerns such as professional identity, work-family integration, and personal confidence. In addition, effective mentors could help mentees to develop self-efficacy, emotional intelligence and resilience in the face of stress. Furthermore, Inclusive leaders are learning that both genders perform better, advance faster, and choose to stay in their organizations when they have effective mentors and sponsors. In addition, as both the textbook (Chapter:10) and the article underlined that women report a preference for less hierarchy and more reciprocity in their mentorships, as it fosters a more inclusive environment that values success and encourages communication and transparency at all levels. Therefore, many companies are doing more to develop reciprocal mentorship programs in their organizations. For example, Greatheart Consulting has launched a “Reciprocal Mentoring Lab”, where new or existing cross-gender mentoring teams join several other teams for two days of intensive learning and reciprocal skill development. The goal is to create strong schemas or mental maps for reciprocal cross-gender mentorship that can then be exported back to the organization, ultimately serving to change the overall mentoring
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