Situational Mentoring: Right Help at Right Time

Situational mentoring is a short-term discussion between executives on issues which are highly impactful in nature. The main objective is to enhance the individual and organization performance. It is a quick-hitting, short-term collaborative learning relationship which leads to creating solutions which are creative in nature.

Situational mentoring involves mentors and experts for information, advice, and feedback. In situational mentoring, mentees look for collaborators who can guide them or give them specific advice on a single, targeted issue which needs to be solved quickly. These kinds of compact microlearning engagements are fast to set up and fast to shut down.

Situational mentors are considered as the right help at right time. They inspire, motivate, encourage, and share valuable lessons to the mentees. They provide support to a specific situation and guidance and help in overcoming it.

Things that will help in situational mentoring:

Create a clear context

To get actionable results, it’s important for both mentor and mentee to have a clear understanding of the issue or situation. This will help in judging the situation well and making better decisions to solve the problem. A clear context will also work as a good starting point for the initial meeting between mentor and mentee. This will also help in setting the timeline and make the action plan. The action plan should include understanding the situation, gather additional information and select and test solution

Focusing on people

To transfer tacit knowledge, it requires interaction. Tacit knowledge is the judgement and wisdom which is acquired through experience i.e. it can’t be gained through by looking at the database. Tacit knowledge has a relational context which creates an atmosphere for dialogue, good and analytical understanding of the situation. This leads to building commitment from both the parties involved to find a solution to the issue.

Attributes of a situational mentor

  • Commitment oriented – Situational mentors are committed to solve the specific problem in an efficient manner. The focus is not how much time will be offered from mentor to the mentee but how efficiently the problem is solved.
  • Situational mentor encourages others – Mentors believe that everyone comes with a unique skill set and they should use that to solve problems personally and professionally.
  • Situational mentors believe that each person has a unique potential and it is exciting– They believe each individual can stretch the limits to achieve the goals. Mentors are usually positive in their approach and promote mentee’s potential in every way possible. This will help the mentees to achieve the next level of their aspirations.
  • Situational mentors can be of any age – Situational mentors don’t necessarily have to be in the management position. They can be of any age. A lot of times junior professional have a lot to offer and can help mentees to achieve their aspirations. Young mentors can provide technical guidance or can give their generation’s perspective on various issues. Young mentors know their niche area and they can offer good advice in that.
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