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The Keys to Satisfaction in a Mentoring Relationship

Posted by on October 24, 2012

by Sable Watson - Friday, June 29, 2012, 01:56 PM

 

TAKE-HOME MESSAGE…

A volunteer’s commitment to his or her mentoring relationship is largely rooted in how satisfied he or she is with the relationship. If a mentor is unhappy with how things are going with a mentee, then there is a greater likelihood that the relationship will end prematurely. This is why a mentor’s satisfaction is just as important to the success of the relationship as a mentee’s satisfaction.

The researchers in this study sought to identify and understand the factors that contribute to a mentor’s satisfaction. They collected self-report data from volunteers involved in a community-based youth mentoring program. Mentors were surveyed on issues related to their self-confidence in being a mentor, support from program staff, and training. Results showed that mentors who received adequate training and who had high self-confidence in being a mentor felt a greater sense of satisfaction in their mentoring relationship. These results have important implications for mentors.

As a new mentor, it is important to identify your level of confidence in working with youth. If you are questioning your ability to effectively perform the roles and responsibilities of a mentor, then you should immediately speak with someone at your mentoring organization. Regardless of your comfort level, however, you should seek training. Not only will it better prepare you for mentoring and potentially increase your sense of satisfaction in the relationship; but it may improve your self-confidence to be a mentor as well.

Mentoring Central is an excellent resource for training. It is equipped to guide you through your entire mentoring relationship, from the moment you choose to become a mentor, to the last outing you have with your mentee. If you are interested in learning more about the training program, visit www.mentoringcentral.net.

 

THE DETAILS…

What was the purpose of this study?
To examine the factors related to mentor satisfaction and self-efficacy in the mentoring relationship. The researchers tested three hypotheses:

1. Mentors who perceive higher quality training will feel more satisfied with their mentoring relationship compared to mentors who do not perceive the training is high quality.

2. Mentors who feel more supported by their program staff will feel more satisfied with their mentoring relationship than mentors who do not feel supported by their program staff.

3. Mentors who have a high self-confidence to be a mentor will feel more satisfied with their mentoring relationship compared to mentors who do not have high self-confidence to be a mentor.

Who were the mentors?
The mentors were volunteers for a mentoring program located in a small metropolitan area. Eighty-one mentors participated in the study.

What type of mentoring was studied?
Community based- individual and group mentoring were provided.

What did the researchers find?
The results showed that self-efficacy and training are directly related to mentor satisfaction. The more confident a mentor felt with his or her role as a mentor, the more satisfied he or she was with the mentoring relationship. Also, the more training a mentor received, the more satisfied he or she was with the mentoring relationship.

The researchers also found that many mentors reported some common barriers to their mentoring relationship such as: scheduling conflicts, communication issues, interactions with mentees’ parents (or lack thereof), and finances. These findings have important implications for mentoring programs.

Source: Martin, S. M., & Sifers, S. K. (2012). An evaluation of factors leading to mentor satisfaction with the mentoring relationship. Children and Youth Services Review, 34(5), 940-945. Elsevier Ltd. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.01.025

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