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Review: The Situational Mentor


Situational Mentor
Title: The Situational Mentor – An International Review of Competences and Capabilities in Mentoring
Editors: David Clutterbuck and Gill Lane
Publisher: Gower
ISBN: 0-566-08543-7
Price: £55.00
Reviewer: Angela Busby.

Authors/editors Clutterbuck and Lane have done something that is not always easy to do – they have brought together diverse perspectives from leading academics and practitioners and presented the reader with valuable information needed for a better understanding of mentoring. Clutterbuck and Lane’s combined experience (50+ years) in the area of mentoring and coaching is reason enough to pick up this book and add it to your resources.

Rather than a “how to” of mentoring – this book is an excellent dialogue and insight into what contributes to the success or failure of mentoring. Packed with good ideas and challenging concepts, those looking for a more comprehensive understanding of mentoring, and especially successful mentoring, will find it in these pages.

With topics ranging from the moral dimension of mentoring to winding up or down mentoring, no mentoring concept or consideration has been left un-addressed. Particularly interesting were the sections on “virtual mentoring” and “when mentoring goes wrong”. Although there are variations in the writing style of individual contributors, it is an easy read, moving from one topic to the next in logical and well thought out order. One outstanding characteristic, but by no means the only one, is that this book provides the reader with a summary of the key findings of world-wide research. The use of real life scenarios, help the reader to can gain a deeper understanding of mentoring from first page to last.

This book is ideally suited for those exploring the opportunity to mentor or who wish to gain an understanding of its underlying principles. Provided are excellent descriptions, information and perspectives on the different types of roles and skills required by a mentor. It also provides the reader with the mentee’s point of view – something that does not always get included in other books on this subject. With contributors from the UK, Australia, France, Norway, Belgium and the United States, this truly is an “international review”. Regardless of each contributors perspective or topic area there are consistent underlying themes present in this work – mentoring is a good thing when approach properly, mentoring is necessary and that all of us are fully capable of being good mentors – if we know what is involved. I would encourage anyone considering being involved in any way with mentoring, no matter the situation, to pick up this book and read it cover to cover. It is, in my opinion, the best preparation they could possibly undertake.

Angela Busby CMP, CTT+, ICPD (Fellow) is Assistant Manager Professional Development at Group Insurance Underwriting, Great West Life Assurance Co.


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