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Mentoring and counseling have been used in business to improve the overall performance of the individuals. They have been applied both at work and at home level and have brought a positive outcome to the individuals (Stone, 2007 p.1). This essay will define mentoring and also counseling then gives the similarities and differences. It will also discuss the importance mentoring and counseling.
Definitions of mentoring and counseling
McKimm, Jolie & Hatter (2007, p. 1) define mentoring as [someone who helps another person through an important transition such as coping with a situation like a new job or a major change in personal circumstances or in career development or personal growth; The person being helped is often called learner or the mentee] (2007, p. 1).
Mentoring is unique in every situation and therefore the persons involved should be clear in their own terms. There is a variety of situations that require mentoring and so people mentoring and being mentored interpret mentoring differently.
There are various ways in which one could be mentored. First, mentoring can be a one basis which is the most common form of mentoring. Here the mentor and the mentee give individual and personal support by providing guidance and advice every time. The second way of mentoring is where the mentoring occurs in a group. The group could be a peer and group where the learner receives mentorship from peers or from the group.
Besides mentoring, there are other forms that an individual can get alternative support. For instance the family, the workmates, counselor and even teachers give complementary help when one needs mentoring. Either the learner or the mentor can initiate the mentoring process.
It can intentional where both the learner and the mentor are aware or unintentional whereby one can mentor as a form of assisting or giving help. In most cases, mentoring is informal because both the mentee and the mentor deal in a social context, in most cases unofficially.
According to Steven (2010 Para 2) there are various types of counseling. First, there is the client centered counseling. The person who goes for counseling is given time to talk as the counselor listens and provide a conducive environment for the client to express themselves.
The counselor does not criticize or make the client feel unaccepted. The second type is the holistic health. It is also referred to as biopsychosocial and ensures that one has all round health both physically and spiritual as well as emotionally. Its core principle is that a healthy individual is able to withstand forces of the changing world that cause stress.
According to the Brefi group (2011, p.1) counseling is “helping an individual to improve performance by resolving situations from the past.” Cathy (2000, Para 5) argues that a counselor would help a client to identify their problem and be helpful in the recovery of the problems by giving guidance and advice. Counseling can be given to people with a variety of problem some which include encouraging minority students (Hill 1999, p.1).
The strength based counseling theory gives importance to the current experiences of a person in life to employ optimism. The counselor together with the client use the experiences of the client that took place in the past and taking place in the present to address challenges that are present and those that might happen in the future. The fourth type as highlighted by Steven (2010 Para 5) is the cognitive behavior where the present action is related to beliefs and the outcomes of the event.
The fifth type is the solution focused theory that lay emphasis on what the individual being counseled wants to establish. The present together with the future dominate the counseling so that the client is able to feature the future without challenges. The final type is existential theory. The theory assists clients who want to have identity and to have substantial relationships with other people.
These theories can be combined to give a comprehensive analysis and solution to a problem. Mobley and Gazda (2005 p. 144) indicate that life is important and the well being of the individual guide the decision that the client make. Material wealth should only be considered after it is established that the client’s life is safe and has a healthy living.
Counseling is an important intervention as Harold (1992, Para 7) mentions. Counseling helps people to give expressions of their feelings and thought that they have been holding in their minds. In other situations, clients who do not know how to express self can be helped. Then the counselor can conduct a session where the client differentiates their feeling and the state of their feeling. This is important for the client’s recovery process. Consequently the client is also gets aided in accepting reality and the feelings he has towards a situation.
Another reason for conducting counseling is help the client lower the emotional agony, change wrong beliefs and inappropriate understanding of the situation. Therefore, the client is helped to become the solution to own challenges by learning to be in control of their situations Harold (1992, Para 9).
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At times people need counseling to be able to cope with certain conditions and be able to behave the right way. The counselor gives guidance on how the person can foster positive ideas and behaviors and eliminate the negative elements and thought in an individual. The counselor assists in the development of a well modeled individual.
The other importance of intervention is evident in the environment of the client. The client at times needs to change the environment to have a conducive environment in their social life. This may include changing the pattern of relationship where one can. For example, children have little control of their conditions and parents need to be considerate to make life better for the children.
Differences and similarities of mentoring and counseling
Chung, Bemak & Talleyer (2007, p. 1) in their research discovered that counseling and mentoring are alike. In this regard, the mentee and client have confidence that they are going to get help and guidance from the mentor or the counselor. Another area of similarity is the fact that the mentor and the client who successfully gain from the process have trust on the mentor and counselor.
They believe in what they are told and carefully follow instruction in order to improve their situation. In both cases a sense of comfort emerges when there is conduct. This is because the client and the learner are aware that he is in a better position than before the mentor and the counselors were introduced in their lives. Due to this overlap they suggest that a counselor could also be a mentor in some cases.
The Riley Guide (2011) suggest that counseling is different from mentoring, and that mentoring “is guidance in the form of teaching and support provided by someone you trust, usually a teacher, a parent, a supervisor or a counselor. Another difference between counseling and mentoring is that counseling is done on persons who are at times confused and do not have any knowledge or experience of handling the problem.
On the other hand, the person being mentored can have clear knowledge on how to handle the knowledge on only needs affirmation that he is doing the right thing. Thus the individual being counseled is incapable of handling a problem while the person who is being mentored is capable. The counselor therefore performs a larger task than a mentor.
Mentoring and counseling vary in their approach. The mentee can have a relationship with the mentor for a long time where they have informal meetings. The mentor has experience in the area he provides mentorship and he may use examples from his own life to explain and provide guidance.
The relationship can take long, even a life time to guide on career and individual advancement. On the contrary the period of time used in counseling is measurable. The client is given interventions to problems as the counselor monitors the progress in arranged meetings. The counselor also gives guidance to the client by using principles he learnt from the intensive training. The counselor does not have to be familiar with the challenge to be able to assist the client.
The mentor is in most instances more qualified and of a greater age than the mentee. The mentee gives the agenda as the mentor gives the guidance support and advice. On the other hand the counselor is a professional and his age is ignored most of the time. The client who goes to counseling can be older than the counselor. Irrespective of the age the counselor and the client follow the professional directives of counseling that is based on intensive training in counseling rather than personal experiences of the counselor.
Benefits of counseling and mentoring at work and at home
Giantis (1998, p. 2) indicates that the family benefits from counseling and mentoring process. When the family members are counseled, they become aware of their responsibility in the family towards other members. Activities within the family are well coordinated and no one feels over worked or overloaded with roles. As a result, they meet their role leading to happiness within the family.
Communication in the home environment is excellent and adequate consultations and considerations are incorporated in decision making. After a good communication network is established the relationships become meaningful and the members can invent a home culture that would assist in maintaining healthy relationships.
Conflicts are well resolved as the individual family members learn to compromise. Another remarkable outcome in the family is that stress is no longer experienced as people learn to create and respect each other’s boundaries (Giantis1998, p. 2).
In the home environment counseling and mentoring help parents understand the reasons that cause children to change behavior, know when they want to communicate problems and become a solution.
Parents through mentoring learn to solve problems satisfactorily and put up measures that would prevent a reoccurrence of the behavior. Consequently, they encourage their children to become the best they can be and educate the children on what they are expected to become. The end result is that the parents are capable to balance their roles as a caregiver and as a disciplinarian.
The children benefit from counseling and mentoring because they initiate behaviors that are important in preventing frustrations and stresses. Because they can handle challenges the young one in the home do not use unwanted barriers as a factor that prevents them from achieving their goals. That means that they become competent decision makers in addition to being good decision makers. An important observation that Giantis (1998, p. 2) made is that they grow as good communicators with self control in their personal lives.
The importance of mentoring cannot be underestimated. As McKimm, Jolie & Hatter (2007, p. 2) note when new graduates complete their education and join the career industry, they need mentoring. This is because they have accumulated knowledge throughout their training and require guidance to be able to put that knowledge into practice. Without guidance, an individual can be overwhelmed and become stressed because they lack self confidence and confirmation that they are doing things in the right way.
In some institutions mentoring is well established to incorporate new members who have been recruited. It is also done to persons who have changed their departments and need to learn the units operations and also to improve the employee’s efficiency at work. Mentoring at work is important in encouraging the minority or underprivileged increase their morale so that they work up to capacity (Stone2007, p. 5).
At times the organization can go through radical changes due to the external environment. Mentoring assures the employees that the situation is in control and that thing are going to be better. At times the employees are promoted and have not worked in such a position. They require mentoring so that they can be able to take up the new role and be effective as the position demands. Consequently mentoring is important in the personal development of an individual.
The organizations benefit from the mentoring process too. Mentoring is very effective in bridging the gap training and the system of working in the organization. The employees can accurately meet the expectation of the employer with minimal mistakes and within a shorter period of time.
As a result the employee performs his duties with morale and becomes satisfied when they are able to meet the demand of the employer. Internal mentoring in an organization saves the cost that would have been used in external training for the recruited employees (Stone, 2007 p. 6).
Mentoring can assist in bringing out the talents and gifts and they can be incorporated in the workplace to advance the quality of work as well as assist in meeting the overall objectives. The administration gains trust of the employee and when they need to promote individuals mentoring is an effective way handing over a senior position. There is a reduction in poor relations at work because there is clarity in the understanding of the organizational goals and therefore the employees with harmoniously perform their duties as a team.
The mentor benefits as an individual in the process of mentoring. Apart from learning how to listen, the ability to tolerate as well as to criticize is developed. His communication abilities grow as he offers the leadership. This task makes the mentor take every opportunity to keep up to date new developments in the career increasing his knowledge in his profession.
As the mentorship and counseling prepares his junior for a promotion he definitely receives advancement in his career. Minter &Thomas (2000, p.2) points out that the mentor is honored for his skills that he passes on. As he mentors can review and design new way of dealing with challenges especially in difficult conditions.
Mentoring outcomes on the learner are clearly significant in transforming the personality of the learner. The learner establishes themselves in career and set a platform for career advancement. This is because they can work independently without constant supervision as they have been introduced to the range of activities associated with the profession.
People who have gone through mentoring take criticism and work on them so that they can improve their services. They develop ability to work in a real world and keep healthy relationships with other at work.
Mentoring and counseling have a positive impact on the person receiving guidance and advice. This is because individuals become better in their health and in their performance at work and in the home environment. Irrespective of how long it takes counselors and mentors are patient and have faith in the improvement of work. In general, both the learner and the client gain confidence and self control in their daily undertakings.
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