Mentoring in the civil service

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MENTORING IN THE CIVIL SERVICE – a human resource management practice of the public sphere. Its foundation is the voluntary relationship between mentor and mentee - the student, conducive to the student's professional development, taking into account his individual strengths. It provides the student with a broader perspective in the view of professional reality, how to perform professional roles and inspires new ways of solving potential problems. Mentoring as a management practice consists in the use of intellectual capital and emotional involvement in the organization / office functioning process. It is a form of an individualized approach to the employee and his development, not just treating him as part of the organizational structure. The purpose of mentoring in the civil service is: adaptation to new and / or changing conditions; transfer of specialist knowledge and experience; professional development planning at all career levels; developing self-awareness and activating one’s own potentials, discovering the directions of one’s own development. Mentoring is a partnership relationship between the master and the student oriented on activating and developing the intellectual, emotional and organizational potential of the student. It is based on inspiration, stimulation, good communication and leadership. Mentoring also includes consulting, evaluation and supporting the mentee in achieving successes. Mentoring is a dynamic process based on a specific type of teaching - learning. It includes two levels of knowledge: silent knowledge about the specificity of the functioning of a particular organization and hard knowledge related to the competences necessary to function in a given organization. This means that mentoring resembles knowledge and competence management processes. This is about intellectual capital and emotional involvement in the organization's functioning process. A mentor is a guide that stimulates change in such a way that it becomes part of the student's needs. It is not about imposing the need to change, improving or teaching the specificity of an organization / institution, but about achieving the professional goals of the mentee. Leadership understood as the relationship between mentor and student is an attribute of mentoring. This relationship is not permanent and evolves with time, changes in the quality of interaction and mutual control over its course. The relational nature of mentoring means that being a mentor requires a kind of balance between the personality and intellect of the mentor and not allowing the marginalization of one for the dominance of another. These features include agency, courage, integrity and loyalty to values, trust, erudition and professional knowledge in a specific field. In relation to the student, the relational nature of mentoring means voluntary co-creation of the relationship, active action for its high quality and expression of willingness to learn. Relationships can be authentic, pro-developmental, and as such they are the opposite of "fake" relationships, with a pretended interest in a student, and pretended fictitious personal characteristics. Communication is an attribute of mentoring. Mentoring is realized through communication behaviours of both parties. Communication between the mentor and the student requires respecting the principles conducive to reaching agreement and a better level of cooperation. These include: personal culture, displaying similarities in acceptable ranges, honesty and openness in the formulation of judgments, avoiding generalizing assessments, formulating feedback and active listening. Mentoring can become dysfunctional if the mentor does not see changes in the student's professional functioning and petrifies the relationship. Stability in the way of performing the role of mentor results in the adoption of dominant behaviour, authorizing the relationship with the student. In this case, mentoring loses its original meaning. Mentoring dysfunction is also a result of communication barriers and difficulties resulting from the adopted style of communication. The non-partner style, consisting in initiating communication due to one's own needs and from one's own perspective, not taking into account the needs of the student, is a negation of mentoring. The implementation and dissemination of mentoring may result in a reduction of dysfunctions that should be located at the psychological level (the so-called human factor), but their effects are reflected at the organizational and managerial level and in relations with the environment. [E. Marciniak]

Literature: D. Cluttenburck., Everyone needs a mentor. How to manage talents, Warszawa 2002 ■ J. Itrich-Drabarek, Conditions, standards and directions of changes in the civil service in Poland against the European background, Warszawa 2010.