"I think the greatest thing we give each other is encouragement knowing that I'm talking to someone in this mentoring relationship who's. However, studies such as those by Kram (; ) provided the foundation ) such as, amongst others, the phases of mentoring (Kram ), . Solansky () explains that the mentoring relationship is described as a . and quotes that illustrate the relational conditions required for effective mentoring . The fact is that mentor-protégé relationships are difficult to ideas in this note have been heavily influenced by the work of Kathy Kram and David Thomas (see.
However, another mentor cautioned that being respectful does not mean that questions should not be asked by mentees during the mentoring process, as evidenced in this quotation: This means that being respectful should not stop mentees from being free to express their views and ask questions during the mentoring process. Mentees also expressed their views on the significance of themselves showing respect towards mentors in a mentoring relationship.
These mentees expressed their views saying: One mentee further explained that being respectful towards a mentor is demonstrated by 'saying the right things; using the right words. The mentors stated that when open communication exists in a mentoring relationship, mentees become 'comfortable to speak during mentoring processes, and that a mentor 'must be a good communicator' to enable open communication. Mentees noted that a mentor should 'be free or open', 'be able to listen. Another mentee explained that in the absence of communication, 'there will be a misunderstanding' in the relationship.
They expressed their views, saying that 'any person, to be a mentor, must have the ability to communicate. Relating to communication, the language being used during mentoring sessions is regarded as an important relational condition.
Mentors mentioned that some people 'don't even understand English. Another mentor expressed these views saying: Mentees also acknowledged that using English during mentoring sessions is a challenge because they prefer using 'the vernac.
Another aspect related to communication is intercultural communication. A mentor expressed his views saying that 'there's a lot of cultural differences between the different societies. Another mentor explained that the challenge exists when 'it's black to black. A mentee also expressed his views saying: Mentors in the current study emphasised that 'there has to be a good trusting relationship' and that during the interactions, mentors should be bold to 'tell them [mentees] the honest [truth]'.
An example of the statements made by mentees on trust and honesty in the mentoring relationship is that '[mentoring is] about trust. I can believe in his abilities'. It was also evident from mentees' perceptions that confidentiality of information during the mentoring process is strongly linked to trust and honesty.
For example, mentees stated that 'a mentor should be somebody. Nonetheless, mentees explained that the mentoring relationship should be professional at all times and that 'things that are personal.
According to these participants, 'the relationship will never work without trust. Passion and patience of the mentor The mentees and board members considered the passion and patience of the mentor as an important relational condition that should be in place in a mentoring relationship.
Mentees noted that mentors should possess 'passion to work with small businesses', 'be very patient' and that they should 'want to see the growth of the mentee. Linking to passion and patience of the mentor, emotional support by the mentor was considered important for a mentoring relationship. A mentee explained that mentors are 'the voice that keeps you going'.
Mentees further explained that the mentor should be 'the encourager', 'must also fit [in] our shoes' and 'know how to sympathise'. Again, mentees alleged that 'if he [mentor] can't help you, he can refer you to somewhere'. Whilst most mentees acknowledged the importance of having a mentor who provides emotional support and encouragement, contradictory views were observed on what constitutes emotional support provided by mentors.
Some mentees emphasised that the role of a supportive mentor should not be exploited, saying that mentors 'shouldn't be your therapist. They explained that mentors 'need to understand the role of psychology' and that mentors 'end up assisting in business-related issues, but end up being a counsellor as well'. Mentee's willingness to learn The participants noted that mentees should be dedicated and willing to learn during the mentoring process.
Mentors pointed out that a mentee's willingness to learn is demonstrated by being a 'self-starter Mentees also realised the importance of showing willingness towards their own learning, saying: One mentee noted that mentees often engage in and fail to commit to mentoring because of the wrong reasons, saying that 'the biggest mistake when people walk into institutions They must be slave-drivers to themselves'.
In this study, mentees' receptiveness to feedback is another aspect that demonstrates mentees' willingness to learn. The mentors stated that mentees should be able to deal with feedback, 'whether it be negative or positive' and that mentees 'need to be open to, not necessarily criticism, but to advice. This mentee stressed that mentees should 'take everything as it comes. In particular, mentors raised their concerns that mentees 'have huge expectations.
On the other hand, most of the mentees expressed disappointment with their mentoring institutions because their mentoring expectations had not been met. Varied expectations were noted by these mentees. Examples of mentees' expectations are evident in these quotations: Despite the fact that most mentees noted that their expectations about mentoring had not been fulfilled, two mentees expressed their satisfaction with the mentoring programme and said: I think majority of the sessions I had.
Cultural issues The three groups of participants stated that it is important to acknowledge that cultural differences could exist between mentors and mentees, which can influence mentoring relationships. However, these participants indicated that these cultural differences should not become a challenge to the smooth running of mentoring programmes.
One mentor indicated that mentors should 'take them [cultural differences] aside of the working ethics'. Although mentors indicated that cultural differences should not influence mentoring relationships, some mentors explained that mentors should 'be culturally sensitive' and that 'people need to understand.
Instead, these mentees said: In contrast, one mentee alleged that the diverse values, beliefs and religions in a mentoring relationship did have an impact on the mentoring programme she participated in. The mentee stated that 'it's good if you are a Christian to be mentored by a Christian. Like the mentors, they emphasised that cultural differences between the mentor and mentee should not influence the effectiveness of mentoring relationships.
They felt that mentors 'need to understand it [cultural difference]' and that the 'understanding of group dynamics is also important. Discussion and recommendations The findings of this study reveal that the majority of the participants acknowledge the importance of good relations between mentors and mentees during mentoring processes.
From the participants' responses, 10 key relational conditions were identified as important during mentoring of black owner-managers in South Africa. The extent to which mentors are knowledgeable and able to transfer this knowledge to mentees, as well as possessing expertise necessary to develop owner-managers, was found to have an impact on the effectiveness of mentoring relationships.
De Janasz and Godshalk Having an experienced and older mentor was suggested as important as it strengthens the relationship between the mentor and mentee. To become experienced mentors of small businesses, the mentors themselves must have owned a business because business decisions should not be based on reading books, but rather on experience.
Previous research presents different views on the significance of experience of the mentor in the effectiveness of mentoring relationships. For example, McGill By contrast, Mann and Tang The study in question found that it was preferable to have a less experienced mentor because the mentor's experience would be more recent, eliminating the generation gap where old concepts are presented in current situations. In addition, the findings of this study link the level of experience of mentors to their age.
The idea of experience being linked to age is inherent in the traditional theory of mentoring whereby a mentor is referred to as someone who is older than the mentee and is experienced in the field to impart knowledge to the younger individual. Therefore, there could still be challenges to mentoring relationships that do not follow the traditional older-mentor and younger-mentee combination Finkelstein et al.
The findings of this study suggest that approachability of the mentor is important in ensuring the effectiveness of mentoring relationships. Being approachable is described as having a positive attitude towards mentees, as well as creating an environment that allows mentees to address issues freely, and not making mentees feel dominated in the relationship.
This correlates with the research findings of Little, Kearney and Britner The participants of this study also expressed their views on the important role that mutual respect plays in the mentoring relationship.
It is important that both mentors and mentees know how to speak to one another. In particular to mentors, they should use the right words to give advice, and treat mentees as adults. The findings of this study revealed that creating a comfortable and open environment to enable mentees to express their views freely has an impact on effective mentoring relationships.
When open communication exists in a mentoring relationship, mentors listen to the views of the mentees, including taking note of both verbal and nonverbal communication and knowing how to respond accordingly.
A relationship characterised by trust and honesty is essential in a mentoring relationship. It is also evident in the current study that trust and honesty are strongly linked to confidentiality of information in a mentoring relationship. Thus, mentors and mentees need to be honest with each other about the information that is being shared, believe in the abilities of one another and should not share information with third parties.
According to these authors, mentees relate well with their mentors when they believe and trust in the ability of mentees.
A mentor who demonstrates the qualities of passion and patience is described as having high levels of commitment and this could have a positive impact on the effectiveness of mentoring relationships. According to the participants, a passionate and patient mentor is someone who is selfless and enjoys empowering mentees, who is tolerant towards these mentees and believes that their businesses can be successful.
Similarly, in a study conducted by Eller et al. The extent to which mentees demonstrate their willingness to learn is described as an indication of their commitment to the mentoring relationship.
A willingness to learn refers to mentees being dedicated and inspired to succeed in business, being able to execute mentoring activities, doing what is required of them and being hardworking during the mentoring process.
This is in accordance with Leck and Orser The importance of the alignment of expectations for effective mentoring relationships was observed. As such, having a common understanding of the expectations of a mentoring relationship by both the mentor and mentee, as well as having a common understanding of the processes and outcomes of mentoring enhances the mentoring relationship. It was interesting to observe that the participants in this study had contradictory perceptions and expectations about what the outcomes of the mentoring process should be.
Therefore, it is imperative to outline the expectations of mentors and owner-managers at the beginning of the relationship to ensure effective mentoring, a suggestion also made by Garr and Dewe Despite the fact that the participants in this study believed that cultural differences should not influence the effectiveness of mentoring relationships, cultural sensitivity of the mentor emerged as an important issue which should be understood in order to ensure effective mentoring relationships during mentoring of black-owned small businesses.
Cultural sensitivity is defined as the ability of mentors to observe, understand and accept the diverse cultural values of owner-managers during mentoring interactions.
A study conducted by Chung, Bemak and Talleyrand Rather the mentor should be culturally sensitive to the cultures of mentees for the relationships to work. Contribution This study has contributed to the body of knowledge on mentoring of small businesses by providing new insights into the mentoring experiences of black-owned small businesses in South Africa. The contribution of this study is to refine mentoring theory in the context of small businesses in South Africa.
Thus, this study provides insight into relational conditions that should prevail to ensure effective mentoring relationships between mentors and mentees. Recommendations have been presented to these stakeholders on how they should relate to achieve the results for which mentoring was provided.
Ultimately, effective mentoring relationships should equip owner-managers with management skills necessary to make proper business decisions and manage their businesses more effectively, which is essential for the survival of their businesses.
Limitations and future research The findings in this study are based on the mentoring perceptions and experiences of participants from only two provinces in South Africa.
Future research on this topic should be extended to other provinces of South Africa to identify similarities and differences in mentoring experiences of black-owned small businesses. The nature of the sample, consisting of black-owned small businesses, limits the capacity to generalise research findings across all small businesses in South Africa.
Future research should be undertaken to establish whether the findings reported in this study vary significantly when a study is conducted amongst other ethnic groups. In addition, the relational conditions identified as important during mentoring of black-owned small businesses in this study could be tested empirically in future using a quantitative research design and methodology and a relatively larger sample of black-owned small businesses.
Even though culture did not feature as a separate relational condition in this study, the findings of this study reveal that culture is an important aspect in a mentoring relationship because cultural differences could have an impact on the effectiveness of these relationships. As such, future studies could explore the impact of culture in understanding the relational conditions necessary for effective mentoring relationships.
Despite these limitations, the findings of this study contribute to the body of knowledge on small business by examining the under-researched field of small business mentoring in South Africa.
For this reason, many opportunities exist for future research on mentoring of small businesses. Acknowledgements Competing interests The authors declare that they have no financial or personal relationship s that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University was the project leader, together with E. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University as well as C. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University who supervised this study from the design until execution.
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Most of my mentors have been old white men, because they were the ones who dominated my field. Advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you.
You are all learners, doers, and teachers. You have to believe it's possible and believe in yourself. Because after you've decided what you want, you have to believe it's possible, and possible for you, not just for other people. Then you need to seek out models, mentors, and coaches. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better. Older workers are usually better at following direction, mentoring, and leading.
If you're not someone who people want to be around, you won't get far. Likewise for helping those in line behind you. I take seriously my role as a mentor to young female filmmakers--I make sure my time is tithed. In such a way that it builds people up, encourages and educates them so they can duplicate this attitude in others.