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Male/female mentoring: turning potential risks into rewards

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1 Author(s)
C. D. Brown ; AT&T Bell Labs., Denver, CO, USA

A mentor guides a protege in the direction which will best assist the protege in learning his or her job. When men and women act as mentors and proteges, they take several risks to achieve the rewards that come from mentoring. The author describes the rewards and focuses on the risks of such mentoring, which include the potential for sexual tension and involvement, misunderstandings stemming from different communication and management styles, coworkers' misperceptions of the mentoring relationship, resulting in negative office gossip, and the potential for sexual harassment. The author concludes by summarizing steps organizations can take to encourage beneficial mentoring between men and women

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication  (Volume:36 ,  Issue: 4 )