How an Evolution View of Workplace Mentoring Relationships Helps Avoid Negative Experiences: The Developmental Relationship Mentoring Model in Action

September, 2016

Source: Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, Vol. 24, No. 4, 318–340, 2016
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This article explores how the use of a specific mentoring model focusing on the evolution of the relationship between mentor and mentee, may influence the incidence of failure.

The participants were 2,132 members of a wide variety of professionals and functions ranging from clerks to chief executives, clinical and non-clinical from UK. The participants were 752 mentors and 1,380 mentees.
The authors employed a case study methodology to examine the use of a developmental relationship mentoring (DRM) model. The model was characterized by different tasks that recognize the developmental potential of relationship evolution.

Data were collected through a survey and in-depth semi-structured interviews were also undertaken with 13 members.

The authors argue that the findings provide a greater understanding of the dynamics of mentoring relationships. The findings suggest that the causes of toxic mentoring are complex and influenced by factors that include mentor motivation and emotional intelligence.
The authors argue that the factors can be categorized in two ways: first, those that can be circumvented through intentional scheme coordination.
For instance, mentee motivation can be addressed through appropriate matching, mentors’ lack of skills can be improved through training and personality clashes can be resolved through rapport building techniques and empathy.

In addition, those that are outside the control of the scheme, for instance when circumstances change and a mentor is promoted outside the region, or leaves the organization.
The authors have suggested that such unavoidable causes can be alleviated through contracting and review, ensuring a satisfactory conclusion or break and that use of the DRM model addresses both categories through raising awareness of mentee needs at each phase and prepares for the evolution in the dynamic of the relationship and the situation of the mentor or mentee.
Finally, the authors suggest that there may be a relationship between DRM and a restorative capacity, the ability to get a dyad back on track following the occurrence of toxicity.

Updated: Jul. 10, 2018