3 P”s of Mentoring – Progressive, Perpetual and Process Oriented
| Prof. Steve McCarty - 16 Mar 2021

Mentoring is an important activity required at all levels of life, assuming learning is a lifelong activity. Mentoring is an activity that becomes super important when it comes to higher education. Higher education particularly needs balancing of various skills, which requires skill gap identification, skill training, skill up-gradation, etc. As a result, it becomes essential to have mentoring as a formal and structured process-driven activity in higher education. Mentoring, therefore, requires a holistic and logical approach.
 Mentoring in higher education is often toppled with pertinent questions like, who is a good mentor? Is it choice-based? Is mentoring impact assessment measurable? and so on. The answers to these questions lie in the fact that mentoring is a high skill-based activity, to be performed by those mentors who are willing and capable. The basic principle of mentoring is based on the belief of 3Ts- Trust, Transparency, and Truthfulness. Mentoring at this level of education encompasses career guidance, choice of course of study, skill advocacy, and so on. Since the recipient – the mentee is also an adult, the formal agreement of two-way learning must happen between adult and adult.  Mentoring as a process must start with knowing the mentee and his/her requirement, followed by a mutual forward action plan (including the gap, the roadmap for closing the gap) and the impact/outcome (this can be short/medium/long term based). Mentoring, therefore, follows a model of Input and Output analysis where processing refers to the various mentoring interventions, mutually planned and conducted. It is important to highlight that mentoring effectiveness is lopsided if it is not jointly planned and assessed by both the mentor and the mentee. Mentoring as a formal and output-based activity differs from “Coaching” and “Counselling”. Mentoring is therefore included various roles to be played with context and time, for shaping a better professional. A mentor is a multifaceted and multidimensional advocate who knows the mentee, more than the mentee in many cases. In mentoring higher education aspirants, it is quite important to briefly understand the purpose of doing professional coursework, which sets the roadmap for the expected outcome and journey goal. Mentoring is effective when the purpose (a career in most cases) is clear, jointly agreed upon, and measurable.
  Mentoring must be a continuous and track-based activity. Mentoring, in the era of technology, is not always F2F, it must evolve with new modes of communication, especially to the taste of mentee. Connect between mentor and mentee is the most important building force between the two, which can happen at various modes of interactions. Mentoring is for life and therefore its impact can be seen over a period of time, maybe not the first job in the case of higher education, the first job may be one such indicator. Mentoring must be seen as an investment for the future with capital gains for both of the process owners, for a mentor- the feeling of doing everything for someone and mentee- achieving everything by someone’s efforts. Indeed! A Win-Win!! 
 “A mentor empowers a person to see a possible future, and believe it can be obtained.” Shawn Hitchcock

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