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Mentoring—It Isn’t a Team Sport

By Ken Vincent, Featured Contributor

So what is the difference between teaching, training, and mentoring?

While some may not agree with me, this is how I see it:

Teaching is imparting general information.  It can be done one on one as in tutoring, or in a group such as a classroom.  It is different than training.  You don’t train math, you teach math.  You don’t train the theory of business administration.  You teach it.

mentoringTraining is a matter of teaching specifics.  You don’t potty teach your children.  They know how to go to the bathroom.  You are training them where and how you want it done.  You don’t teach a waiter that food gets put on the table.  You are training him in how it gets done and the placement.  As in teaching this can be done one on one or in groups.

Mentoring is not the same as teaching or training.  Of course those elements can be a part of mentoring, but mentoring goes beyond that.

Mentoring is always a one on one activity.  It is not a group effort.
Presumably the person being mentored already has a basic understanding of job skills and a good grip on the generalities of the business.
Mentoring is more about nuances.  It is often focused on relationships, office politics, the next level of career objectives.  It is about management and leadership techniques.  It is about motivating people and team building.  It is about ethics, responsibilities, and core values.

If the person you are mentoring doesn’t have a general understanding of the business and most of the job skill set needed then you are likely to fail in what mentoring should be accomplishing.  Mentoring is the process of taking a person that is good at what they do to the next level.

Do you agree with that assessment?


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Ken Vincent
Ken Vincenthttp://sbpra.com/KennethVincent/
KEN is a 46 year veteran hotelier and entrepreneur. Formerly owned two hotels, an advertising agency, a wholesale tour company, a POS company, a leasing company, and a hotel management company. The hotels included chain owned, franchises, and independents. They ranged in type from small luxury inns, to limited service properties, to large convention hotels and resorts. After retiring he authored a book, “So Many Hotels, So Little Time” in which he relates what life is like behind the scenes for a hotel manager. Ken operated more that 100 hotels and resorts in the US and Caribbean and formed eight companies. He is a firm believer that senior management should share their knowledge and experience with the next generation of management.

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