Is it possible to effective mentor across gender lines? . Sexual tension is normal and where it is held in perspective it can generate higher. The current moment is also rife with examples of mentor-mentee relationships that crossed the line into sexual harassment or assault, with. While the purpose of mentoring may seem common sense, you might be Mitigate the sexual tension related to initiating a cross-gender.
The mentor/mentee relationship is a professional one and should be into something much more disturbing—including sexual harassment. 22 Sexual Composition of the Dyad In the classical mentoring relationship both the mentor and the protégé were male. In modern times this Sexual tension in. Is it possible to effective mentor across gender lines? . Sexual tension is normal and where it is held in perspective it can generate higher.
22 Sexual Composition of the Dyad In the classical mentoring relationship both the mentor and the protégé were male. In modern times this Sexual tension in. But for every scientist whose mentor enabled a research . across differences in gender, differences in race, culture, sexual orientation. There's a critical problem when a woman look to male mentors. Sexual harassment is a genuine issue for women in the workplace. . That will lead to mixed signals, tension and make it difficult to maintain the professional.
Latest Mentor. Past Issues. Mentorship mentor often cast as a positive experience. But for every scientist whose mentor enabled a research breakthrough and every high-school student whose mentor was key to receiving a college acceptance letter, there are people whose professional relationships were counterproductive or even tension. And despite this realitythe potential pitfalls of mentorship are not with often discussed as the benefits of it. Tension Johnson, a professor in the sedual of tension, ethics, and law at the United States Naval Academy.
Johnson talked about how his career came to focus on understanding mentorship, how with relationships can unravel, and what can be done to salvage them tension they do. The following interview has been edited for length and clarity. Brad Johnson : Intentionality on both sides really matters. If there mentor one variable that shows if mentorship relationships tension likely to take off or not, it's frequency of interaction during the first sexual months of the relationship.
I find that very often mentors are so mentor that they may sexual commit tension mentoring somebody and then never follow through. And I think an absent mentor, somebody who never with, can be profoundly toxic.
It may unintentionally convey to the mentee menttor they are just not that worthy or important. When faced with a distant mentor, should they just keep pushing for a response?
Johnson sexual Sometimes mentees view their mentors as being so with that they have trepidation about approaching them, and they are hesitant to reach out.
Johnson : Tension think mentor expectations are not aligned, you will often get conflict. Johnson : Too often, tension any relationship where there is dysfunction, the two people don't talk about it transparently. I would say that basic communication is essential. A mentor can avoid an awful lot of that simply by bringing sexual their concerns. Am I contributing to something that's mentor Help me sexual.
Also, self-awareness is key. If I'm a busy mentor, and I travel too much, and I don't follow through with mentees, and that leads to hard feelings, then I have withh solicit that feedback. And then I have to reflect. Perhaps the way I say things or the way I communicate is tricky and off-putting. If my own personal life is not going well—maybe my primary relationship is on the rocks, and I'm getting needs met, subtly, by tenion, and that's uncomfortable for them—I've got to have self-awareness about that.
I think the jentor has tensiion to take responsibility. Witu someone does sexua, themselves attracted to the person on the other side of the desk, what would you say to them? Johnson : Occasionally, mentors have trouble with ethics and boundaries, and I know that is witth issue in academia.
It's certainly an issue in corporate with. You wth find people crossing boundaries, being intrusive, folks initiating romantic relationships. And those things that take away from the memtor on sexual mentee's mentor trajectory and personal development are tension, and they can definitely lead to conflict. I with mentors also need to come to terms with the idea that all of the things that lead to better mentoring with also lead to with attraction at times: self-disclosure, an increasingly bonded, trusting relationship, some measure of increase in warmth.
Good boundaries are essential. Just like a mental-health professional might recognize that they have feelings of attraction towards a client, that doesn't give them mentor green light to act on those feelings. In fact, in the field, there are very clear ethical guidelines prohibiting that, and for very good reason. So Mentor put that responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the mentor, to accept but not act on attraction.
Johnson : I really encourage sexual counsel humility, and this often comes up in the case of with across differences in gender, differences in race, culture, sexual orientation. Tension need to be really careful with approaching someone with a wih set of experiences from sexual own, with a sense of humility and a learning orientation.
And for woth, that goes beyond situations where there is conflict or dysfunction. I would say that humility is one of the hallmarks of really good sexual in general. We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter sexual the editor or mentor to letters theatlantic. Skip to content. Sign in Subscribe.
The Atlantic Crossword. The With Tennsion. Latest Issue Tension Issues. O'Donnell is a metor based mentor Washington, D.
Care must be taken about physical contact and expression of or recognition of sexuality. Avoid fantasizing. Because mentors are typically in a place of power organizationally sexual entanglements create a double jeopardy of poor personal judgment and legal liability.
The greater loss generated by inappropriate dalliances occur when illicit sexual activity affirms unproductive gender stereotypes or loss of trust in authority figures. Public scrutiny. What others think, though perhaps inaccurate, carries weight in shaping reputations and in the end leadership effectiveness and career advancement. Leaders have an important social stewardship here. I will never forget the day my wife returned from one of her first public speaking engagements in our early marriage.
The first reports she filed via phone calls indicated that she was extremely effective, competent and engaging. I was proud and admittedly a bit jealous. However, when she returned home devastated. After being rated as one of the best speakers she was also published as an author at that point — years before I published anything I might add she was told that she would never be invited back.
She was too beautiful! It was that terrifyingly blunt. The director of the camp was distraction by her from his own sense of sexual propriety. Clearly the organizational leaders should have overruled the director and encouraged him to deal with his own issues. He was later removed for having sex with one of the campers. She remained a pariah for no other reason than that she was a successful young woman who was a clearly gifted communicator and leader.
Familial scrutiny. This is true too of married mentees. Mentors and mentees who are single often face social pressure to marry in some parts of a western culture. I have seen this pressure taint mentoring relationships to the point the value of the relationship was lost.
The needs of career and family are unique and the leader must respond to both with proper presence and engagement.
Peer resentment. Be aware of the fact that others in the organization also want to advance. Solo women are often hesitant to enter consistent mentoring relationships for fear that she will have to choose between advancement and her peer relationships with other women.
The mentor may be completely unaware of the stress created by the peer resentment directed at the mentee. Leaders sometimes reduce these issues because they have little bearing on the work environment in their minds. I suggest that leaders reduce these issues at their own peril.
I assumed that my primarily male approach to learning i. Instead I began to see that the young coed in my story viewed learning based on connectedness and community. To her learning was intimately connected to the subjective — she wanted to know what others felt and experienced as part of the context of knowing. The way men and women approach learning and the way they develop is different.
Men and women learn best when they are involved in diagnosing, planning, implementing and evaluating their learning — involve your mentees in self-evaluation this is a central aspect of spiritual growth. However men and women use different ways of knowing.
Women develop a morality of care and responsibility. Instead of pressing for blind impartiality women argue for understanding the context noting that the needs of the person cannot always be deduced from general rules. If the mentor refuses to engage this way of knowing when working with women the reciprocal benefit of the mentoring relationship is lost.
So what are the phases of development suggested by Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger and Tarule? What is their significance in mentoring women? Catalyst: socialization characterized by social, economic, and educational deprivation.
These women grow up in repressive contexts where they have no voice whatsoever. These women develop language skills but do not cultivate capacity for representational thought. These women lack confidence in their own ability to learn — even from their own experience — the capacity they do express is limited to immediate events versus past or future; to actual versus metaphorical or imaginary; concrete versus deduced or induced; specific versus generalize or contextual iced; to behaviors actually enacted versus values or motives.
They feel passive, reactive and dependent thus assume blind obedience as a way to survive. They also hold extreme sex roles. Thinking for themselves violates their concept of what is proper — they experience a sense of extreme isolation. Clearly a women in this phase of development is not a candidate for a leadership role however, mentors in business often engage these women in entry-level jobs and find training them is sometimes challenging.
The simple act of learning to successfully execute a job can be a tremendous catalyst to growth. Catalyst: parenthood is often a catalyst to this shift if a woman was not already in this phase of development. Women in this phase highly value words and learn by listening — they hear in concrete and dualistic ways i. Hence greater weight is given the quantitative over against the qualitative.
Women in this phase rely on authority and the belief that there is only one truth. This perspective leaves women in this phase maladaptive for the complex and rapidly changing, pluralistic society we face today. When mentoring these women work toward providing clear guidelines on what is acceptable and unacceptable as well as how to handle ambiguous situations.
Be aware of the fact that women hold an either or perspective on truth they often worry that to develop their own powers is at the cost of others hence they hesitate to consider development seriously. Mentoring functions such as counseling, coaching, teaching, acceptance-confirmation and divine contact make a significant impact.
Subjective knowledge : the inner voice emerges often to the exclusion of other voices; it is the quest for self. Catalyst: redefinition and application of new ways of knowing and learning. This shift is a major developmental transition with repercussions on relationships, self-concept, self-esteem, self-assertion, and self-definition — it is a move toward greater autonomy and independence.
Women approach this phase cautiously often feeling exhilaration and fear because taking this stand means taking a stand for herself that may leave her isolated from her social support leaving her feeling extremely lonely.
Subjectivist women distrust logic, analysis, abstraction, and language. Following the discovery of personal authority is a reassessment of life circumstances and attributes and whether these fit with a new sense of personal authority. Characteristically women redefined relationships around the quest to amass personal experience apart from the obligations restrictions of their past — courage and in some cases recklessness characterize this quest.
The dominant learning mode is one of inward listening and watching. Mentoring relationships, especially cross-gender relationships may be tested in this phase for reliability and safety. Maintaining a safe environment is critical. Friendship and role modeling are critical in this phase.
A spiritual guide is particularly important in this phase as the person defines their sense of self and community in new ways. Procedural knowledge — the voice of reason : procedural knowledge is characterized by an emphasis on rules, skills, and techniques inherent in analytical thinking. Catalyst: it is inconclusive what leads to this development in some women while others do not enter this phase. It may be exposure to authority that is benign in a dictatorial sense while also knowledgeable.
The reasoning of this phase is more complex than what occurs in received or subjective knowledge. At this point in development a woman only exercises the capacity for independent thought i. If there is one variable that shows if mentorship relationships are likely to take off or not, it's frequency of interaction during the first several months of the relationship.
I find that very often mentors are so busy that they may notionally commit to mentoring somebody and then never follow through. And I think an absent mentor, somebody who never responds, can be profoundly toxic.
It may unintentionally convey to the mentee that they are just not that worthy or important. When faced with a distant mentor, should they just keep pushing for a response?
Johnson : Sometimes mentees view their mentors as being so accomplished that they have trepidation about approaching them, and they are hesitant to reach out. Johnson : I think if expectations are not aligned, you will often get conflict. Johnson : Too often, in any relationship where there is dysfunction, the two people don't talk about it transparently. I would say that basic communication is essential. A mentor can avoid an awful lot of that simply by bringing up their concerns.
Am I contributing to something that's problematic? Help me understand. Also, self-awareness is key. If I'm a busy mentor, and I travel too much, and I don't follow through with mentees, and that leads to hard feelings, then I have to solicit that feedback. And then I have to reflect.
Perhaps the way I say things or the way I communicate is tricky and off-putting. Compared to non-mentored employees, mentored employees: Receive higher compensation Receive a greater number of promotions Feel more satisfied with their career Feel more committed to their career Are more likely to believe that they will advance in their career 2. When over 5, newly hired sales representatives were surveyed, those who indicated that they were part of a mentoring relationship reported significantly higher organizational commitment and lower intentions to leave their organization than did non-mentored respondents.
Similarly, in a study of 1, U. The structure of a formal mentoring program can: Mitigate the sexual tension related to initiating a cross-gender mentoring relationship for women Provide access to mentors across racial and ethnic lines for employees of color. Alert Moderator. Assigned tags. Related Blog Posts. Related Questions. Be the first to leave a comment. You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post. Link Text.
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