Mentoring as a development tool

May 2010

Dear clients,

During the past month LeMaSa has been very involved in preparing mentors and mentees to make the most of their formal mentoring programmes. We have been involved in helping mentors and mentees over the past fifteen years and we have seen phenominal growth in situations where the relationship worked well. We have also seen some frustration where things did not go well. The latter can usually be ascribed to mainly two things: lack of time commitment and unclear goals.

We have built a comprehensive and integrated mentorship process to ensure that companies realise the full potential of mentorship and describe our approach in this newsletter.

We hope that you achieve all your objectives that you would like to complete before the Soccer World Cup starts!


Sandra Schlebusch

Mentoring as a development tool
Collaborative Development Assessment Centres (CDAC)

The underlying principle of our Centre approach is that delegates are the experts in their own lives and will only further develop a competency if they want to. We therefore provide the mirror for the delegates to see their current performance as well as its consequences. Principles are shared with the delegates so that they can apply the principles and experience the different outcomes as a result of the changed behaviour. The collaborative nature of the Centre means that the delegates, together with their facilitators, evaluate their performance during a simulation, directly after the specific simulation. The delegates are thus actively involved in the process of evaluating their own behaviour. Not only does this facilitate insight into the desired behaviour, but it also leads to the possibility of the delegates taking ownership of their areas needing further development and the resulting development.

The DAC process is also based on the principles of continued feedback and experiential learning to enable behaviour change. This means that delegates receive feedback on their performance during a simulation directly after each simulation. What has happened during the simulation is still fresh in the delegates’ minds and they can ask questions about what has happened during the simulation. This enables the delegates to apply what they have learned from one simulation during the next simulation.

Mentoring as a development tool
In today’s challenging environment it is critical for companies to attract, develop and retain the right talent to ensure the sustainability of the business. Current events in the world show that it will be even tougher in future and to ensure growth companies will have to ensure excellence in all aspects. An important element of excellence is competent people. Technical skills form the basis of competence, but work-place experience, practical implementation of theory and a broader knowledge of the business are crucial to ensure that employees are able to make a positive contribution. Mentoring is a key element in ensuring that talent is engaged and committed and therefore less likely to leave the company. It has also been linked conclusively to increased performance. The following high-level process can assist in ensuring that any formal mentorship programme runs smoothly: For the Bonding/Contracting session in Phase 3 LeMaSa has designed a unique workshop based on discovery learning. Discovery learning is an inquiry-based, constructivist learning theory that takes place in problem solving situations where the learner draws on his or her own past experience and existing knowledge to discover facts and relationships and new truths to be learned. Learners interact with the world by exploring and manipulating objects, wrestling with questions and controversies, or performing experiments. As a result, learners may be more likely to remember concepts and knowledge discovered on their own. Discovery learning has many advantages, including - encourages active engagement; promotes motivation; promotes autonomy, responsibility, independence and the development of creativity and problem solving skills; it is a tailored learning experience. LeMaSa has developed a Mentoring Game™ that involves the mentor-mentee pairs competing with each other during the workshop day. The game entails ten (10) tasks, for example: Building a tower; Getting to know each other’s preferences (based on MBTI) and the impact on our relationship; Building our vision for the mentoring relationship; Clarifying the roles and responsibilities of the mentor/mentee; Identifying potential obstacles and how to deal with them; Trust building; Designing a feedback structure; Building a roadmap with milestones; Communication task. This will enhance any formal mentorship programme!