The Good (and Bad?) of Mentorship - The Military Leader
Here is the Army's definition of mentorship, from ADRP The strength of the mentoring relationship relies on mutual trust and respect. mentees so that both parties will know what is expected of the other in a mentor/ mentee relationship. Army Mentorship Definition: The voluntary. Recently, the meanings of these words have been evolving in military doctrine as defines mentoring as “the voluntary developmental relationship that exists.
In many circumstances, this relationship extends past the time where one party has left the chain of command. Although they are similar in many ways, mentoring is distinct from counseling, teaching, and coaching. Counseling is done by the chain of command to discuss past performance and future goals. While teaching imparts knowledge to others before they will need to apply it.Army Officer and NCO Relationship: Tips for Success
Teaching is not evaluative in nature and focused on the future. Conversely, coaching is feedback that occurs during the event to improve performance rather than share knowledge. By definition, mentoring is a relationship outside of the chain of command, so favoritism should never be an issue. Our main goal is to connect military professionals with people in other units and tapping into experiences and knowledge that is hidden behind hierarchy and silos. Mentoring is networking for your next job.
Mentoring is about development, not networking. We strongly encourage all of our users to block and report users who violate that respect. Mentoring means helping people like you.
Mentors come in all forms, and we think that Jim and Chevy are a great example of what we hope to promote. Only having mentors who are just like you misses the benefits of seeing broader perspectives.
Serendipity brought Jim and Chevy together and our goal is to connect other military professionals in meaningful ways. Mentoring means asking for help.
A few studies have explored the mentoring dyad in military organizations. Mentoring was identified as an important factor in the career progression of senior black officers in the United States Army Mason, In a study of Air Force officers preceding their move to an operational assignment, Gouge described their positive attitudes toward mentoring and their perception of mentors as role models. Yet, the paucity of female mentors highlights the need for special consideration and tailored management in cross-gender relationships Ragins, A survey of women Army officers reported that women officers were less positive about their career development and disclosed that they had received less mentoring than their male counterparts Ratchford, As more women have pursued careers, more research has focused on women mentors.
Lean suggests that some men frequently interact with female mentors but do not always accurately attribute mentoring functions to women managers. Women, too, may discount their roles as legitimate mentors Ragins, There is still a paucity of research as to whether a male or female mentor is more effective. According to Kramthe effectiveness of the mentoring relationship is enhanced by the inclusion of multiple functions. It is not uncommon for proteges to seek a mentor with whom they can forge a candid and close relationship based on common interests, values, or simply role identification among other factors Ragins, Likewise, mentors may select proteges based on their visibility in work settings, enthusiasm for their job and actual job performance Noe, Obviously, the protege's degree of exposure or nonexposure via key organizational projects may be a factor in cultivating voluntary mentoring relationships.
Some of the research discusses barriers based on gender differences. Women in general and particularly those in non-traditional organizations often lack informal access to mentors Ragins and Cotton, The frequent interaction and intimacy in communication commonly associated in mentoring relationships may also deter cross-gender mentoring due to peer pressure and other organizational factors.
Some women may also be excluded from organizational activities that would precipitate a mentoring relationship.
However, Cook noted in one study that women executives had mentors at a 3: A more prominent issue is the element of sexual innuendo frequently ascribed to a cross-gender relationship.
In an early study, Collins suggested that as high as 20 percent of the proteges disclosed that they had sexual contact with their mentors. Yet, aside from the perceived risks, cross-gender mentoring seems to be a growing phenomenon as recent research illuminates strategies for successful cross-gender mentoring.
Some mentors have stated that since "good mentees reflect well on them, their chances of getting good mentees is halved without women" Horn, The presence of senior women in male-dominated professions does not guarantee that they will facilitate the acculturation of junior women. In some cases, limited participation by senior women may signify their overcommitment to other organizational functions due to their minority representation Ragins and Cotton, At other times, senior women have been known to exhibit a "queenbee syndrome" where they forego a mentor role since they did not have the advantage of one during their career development Scott, More research is needed to determine to what extent gender differences among mentors impact mentees.
The present study was designed to examine the incidence of mentoring within the military, mentor and mentee characteristics, and significant differences with the mentoring relationship based on gender differences. A survey was developed in lieu of an interview format due to project time constraints. This study was a means of piloting the survey and refining the tool as a intermediary step to studying a larger sample of military women.
The Good (and Bad?) of Mentorship
METHOD Respondents The sample consisted of 77 predominantly military enlisted personnel who were students in a week course covering equal opportunity management principles. Students completed the survey on July 7, The majority of students were Army 48 percent.
Except for one civilian student, the sample predominantly represented the senior enlisted ranks of the military. Students in the course are normally screened and handpicked for their assignment based on their promising career potential and projected ability to work in an advisory role to senior military leaders following graduation.
Seventy-three percent had participated in a college education ranging from taking some courses to completing a Master's degree. The average time in the service was The mode for permanent change of station orders was five. The majority of students The gender composition included 77 percent males and 21 percent females. Two respondents did not disclose their gender.
Procedure Data were collected using a item survey. The survey defined a mentor as "a person who takes a personal interest in another person's or protege's career by coaching, guiding, sponsoring for special duties, and role-modeling. A Likert scale was provided for 14 items e.
A final page included 20 background items concerning socioeconomic family and military factors. Data were collected following a lecture on organizational effectiveness.
Most students required an average of 20 minutes to complete the survey. Those who did not have mentors were only directed to complete the background sheet. Researchers explained that individual responses would be held confidential; data would only be reported in the aggregate. Three respondents were uncertain. Mentor Profile Eight-five percent of the cited mentors were male while 15 percent were female. The majority 51 percent of students indicated that their mentor was their immediate supervisor while 29 percent indicated they had a mentor who was in their chain-of-command and other than their immediate supervisor.
In 90 percent of the cases, mentors were described as having an active duty military status. Mentoring Relationship Parameters Once established, the length of the mentoring relationship tended to be either one to two years 22 percent or over ten years 20 percent.
Mentoring relationships with male mentors were more prevalent 88 percent with female proteges; 84 percent with male proteges although there were more male protege reports of interactions with female mentors during the second most significant mentoring experience.
Mentor Roles Respondents identified the primary role of their mentors as a teacher--"instructor in specific skills and knowledge necessary for successful job performance" 25 percent followed by role model--"someone you can emulate" 23 percent. Protege Roles Respondents cited their performance 31 percent as the primary quality that encouraged mentors to establish a relationship with them. Mentor-Protege Interactions Of 15 possible responses, student proteges identified coaching 16 percent as the primary benefit they derived from a mentoring interaction followed by challenging assignments 15 percent and role-modeling 14 percent.
Mentoring | Military Mentors
They perceived that their mentors benefitted as well through a feeling of pride 36 percent. In general, 56 percent of all respondents indicated they had encountered no problem with their mentor during the liaison. Based on the gender of the protege, 83 percent of the students again disclosed that they had no problem with their mentor. Of 21 objective responses, proteges perceived that the gender of the mentor contributed to more effective communication 17 percenteffective role-modeling 15 percent and more encouragement 15 percent.
Mentoring Relationships and the Military The 14 items in the Likert scale format elicited agreement or disagreement with issues ranging from the benefits of a mentoring relationship in the military to the value of a mentoring relationship as women assume more combat roles.
Mentors were credited with enhancing the proteges' competency and self-worth through counseling and pep talks 93 percent and protecting them from organizational pressures 48 percent. However, 29 percent of the respondents indicated that their unit encouraged mentoring relationships. Sixty percent of respondents agreed that other males at their unit were being mentored compared to other females 29 percent. Careerwise, 34 percent agreed that mentoring was necessary for success at work.
A majority of respondents 62 percent associated a mentoring relationship with their decision to remain in the military. Thirty percent noted that male mentors were more effective than female mentors while zero respondents agreed that female mentors were more effective than male mentors. Fifty-four percent, however, took a neutral position toward the effectiveness of female mentors compared with male mentors.
Finally, 41 percent agreed that mentoring will be essential as more women engage in combat roles while 53 percent neither agreed or disagreed. Despite the small sample size, the percentage of women participants was higher than the overall percentage of women within the Department of Defense and each of the respective services.
Affiliation with a mentor was a prevalent experience among the students. Compared with a few previous military studies, the sample also represented a very high index of mentoring Lewandowski, ; Mathews, despite the almost exclusively enlisted composition. Since the majority of mentors were described as active duty military and Black other than Hispanicthis information may be valuable for recruiting and retention of minorities within the Department of Defense. Related findings included the perceptions of mentors as role models and a majority of respondents crediting their mentors with influencing them to remain in the military.
More research is needed to determine the mentoring effect upon retention of women. In this study, males had a higher proportion of mentors than females.