Bartz (Labarre, 1999) challenges new employees to revise their definition of mentoring. "The assumption behind mentoringIll tether myself to one person who will take care of meis bankrupt. A better way is to build what I call a personal mosaic of influences, experts, and guides. Personal-mosaic building is about breaking mentoring down: What specific skill do I need? Whats my next challenge? For each issue, you seek out an individualsomeone who can deal with crises in a certain way, someone who has an excellent time-management system, someone who seems good at handling office politicsfor advice, information, and models" (p. 75). This mentoring approach is the basis of the theory of mentoring self-management (Mitstifer, Wenberg, & Schatz, 1994). Essentially a decision-making model, this theory teaches individuals to design and manage their own mentoring plan.
One doesnt have to be an employee to benefit from mentoring. Individuals can benefit from mentoring at all stages of life. Mentoring self-management has the advantage of situating more of the responsibility onto the mentee and of expanding the notion of mentoring to include peers, parents and siblings, biographies, illuminating materials and media, reflection on field experiences, and serial mentoring. The module that defines the theory and practice of mentoring self-management is entitled: Mentoring the Human Touch.
See also Self-Managed Mentoring