Formal and informal schemes - Informal mentoring schemes : page 1 of 1

Guide: Informal mentoring schemes can be very successful; however, because they are not monitored and set up in an organised way there can also be problems.Let's examine what happens when a colleague helps, supports and advises another on a regular basis - without being asked by a manager or team leader.

Sonia: As a new member of staff, having a mentor sounded great - and it was at first.She told me where everything was, how to get a car park pass, all that kind of stuff. But later, as the teaching got going, she was often too busy to see me when I really needed help with controlling my learners. I couldn't blame her because our timetables were so different.

Harry: Well, talk about a personality clash! My mentee was very laid back about attendance and punctuality, whereas I live my life in a very organised way.He was a lot younger than me and he'd often arrive late for meetings, so this annoyed me straight away. We just didn't hit it off and our sessions... fell way to nothing.

Guide: Those two views showed how an informal mentoring scheme can become unsuccessful. However, these pitfalls are not necessarily typical.Informal schemes can also have distinct advantages and be very successful. It often depends on the nature of the organisation and the mentors and mentees involved.

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