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The Difference Between Managing and Mentoring

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 31 May 2013 | comments*Discuss
Mentor Mentoring Managing Leadership

Managing and mentoring both have important roles to play in terms of developing good leadership skills and qualities. Whilst both create overlapping opportunities to explore situations and issues, and to reflect and expand knowledge, managing and mentoring also present unique methods of improving performance and leading others.

The Definition Of Managing

Managing, or directing, others is a directive command that suggests instruction of task or option. Through direct performance feedback a manager achieves specific results and objectives. Leadership on this level is directive from a manager who leads a team and explores solutions in order to solve a problem. A leader will also provide outside focus, strategy and vision that inspires action and definition.

The Definition Of Mentoring

A mentor’s key role is to transfer knowledge of specific information. Mentoring provides guidance and assistance and enables the supported individual to find problem solution through the asking of direct questions. By guiding in this way a mentor is able to assist the individual through the development of personal thinking and implementation of ideas. A mentor listens and guides and does not influence thought, although there is a shared vocation connection.

Group Mentoring

Group mentoring provides an excellent method of connecting individuals with advanced learning skills, in a way that encourages free-flowing ideas and productivity. Mentoring individuals in a group is time efficient and effective, and helps reduce performance burnout and fatigue. The promotion of diversity of thinking and creativity is increased, as well as a wider understanding of problem solution and accountability.

Facilitated group mentoring brings together individuals with a shared focus. A facilitator mentor will guide each session and influence direction, as the group shares experience, knowledge and feedback.

What Both Roles Provide

Managing and mentoring are both on-going processes that follow a developed plan of action and increase leadership skills, ability and focus. Managing and mentoring encourage the transfer of knowledge, experience and skills and effectively influence leadership in a positive manner.

Mentoring and managing are both important aspects of leadership development. Without direction, guidance or influence a leader has to learn through trial and error experience, which can be costly in many ways. By understanding the importance of both roles, in the development of good leadership skills, an individual is able to combine both learning options to impart knowledge and experience to others more successfully. In so doing leadership potential is also enhanced and increased.

Concepts And Potential

Sharing the concepts that make individuals feel valued and appreciated should form the basis from which all leaders impart knowledge and experience in a productive manner. Mentoring the most valued team members exercises leadership ability and improves communication skills and personal empowerment. Motivating individuals, from a leader's role, also becomes easier through effective managing and mentoring because improved communications skills inspires stronger contribution from individuals.

Good leadership should empower individuals to expand personal growth. By creating the best possible environment for managing and mentoring a leader becomes a positive role model who understands accountability, growth and the exceeding of professional expectations.

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