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Seb Anthony

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ilm mentoring cycle


The Segment c7.7 on the ILM Certificate in FLM mentions a 'mentoring cycle' and I wondered if anyone had any references that might be usful to uncover such a beast. I have stuff for coaching and for exec level menoring but nothing that quite fits this.
Sharon Longcroft

5 Responses

  1. Possible models

    There are several similar models of the mentoring cycle and essentially they all describe a process not too different from Kolb’s learning cycle (experience, reflect, plan, apply) but involve two people (mentor and mentee or client) contracting to review an event or experience (or possibly the mentor observes the client performing and then they both review it), discuss possible alternative courses of action and other elevant issues, and develop possible future actions for the mentee to apply. These can subsequently be reviewed and then you are back into the cycle.

    There are references in some places to a longer term cycle but these refer to the process of entering a mentoring relationship and eventually leaving it, but the ILM segment is not really referring to that.

  2. Mentoring Cycle
    Hello Sharon,

    Since one of the learning outcomes for that segment is to ‘Understand how to build effective and supporting relationships with others,’ my view is that the ILM indicative content does refer to a mentoring relationship cycle. A number of variations on this theme exist. References (there are many others) include:

    Phillips-Jones, L.L. (1982). Mentors and proteges. New York: Arbor House.

    Kram, K. E. (1983). Phases of the mentoring relationship. Academy of Management Journal, 26, 608-625.

    I can share with you samples I’ve used on ILM FLM programmes if this will be helpful.


    Scott G. Welch

  3. Why?
    Hi Sharon,
    As soon as you see the words “model” or “cycle” run like hell! Please forgive me being so blunt but after 20 years and two doctorates I know that understanding this will in no way assist you to help people to mentor better. We get the same syndome with “styles of leadership” and “what kind of team member are you?”.
    After all this cogitating and finding out what words means takes us no further forward.
    Simply make sure we get clear what one must do to mentor effectively and then help people discover how to apply these criteria.
    Cycles? Models? Why?

  4. Cycles? Models? Why?
    Like Everest, because they’re there.

    “All theories are wrong but some are useful.”

    -George Box

    Whether the ‘mentoring cycle’ in the ILM content spec is right, wrong or useful is debatable. That ILM programme guidelines specify a ‘mentoring cycle’ as indicative content is however a reality.

    As we’ve seen in this thread, there is a range of opinion about what this ‘mentoring cycle’ could be.


    Scott G. Welch
    (no Ph.D)


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