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Mentor or Rescuer?

alliance - mentorMentoring, when an individual provides coaching and encouragement to another, helping him/her develop specific skills and knowledge, which enhance his/her professional or personal growth, plays an essential role in many companies. It has multiple benefits, but boundaries are vital.

Yes, many people have the desire to help others and being a mentor is one way. However, it is also possible to be a rescuer, a relationship which creates unhealthy levels of interference.

A mentor encourages others to help themselves. A rescuer is a person driven to do it for them.  The motivation is less like altruism than addiction, a deep-seated need to fill a gap assuaged only by excessive “helping.”

A mentor helps the mentee to recognize mistakes and take responsibility for change. On the other hand, a rescuer feels compelled to save the mentee from his/her mistakes. Mentoring builds confidence. Rescuing creates an inherent sense of tension, failure, and lack of confidence for the mentee—none of which encourages growth or empowerment.

Some people cannot differentiate their own needs from those they are proposing to help. If this unhealthy relationship syndrome has a chance to foster, it will cause more harm than help to both the mentor/rescuer and mentee. It often leads to unhealthy boundaries and eventually a dependency for the mentee and emotional burnout for the rescuer. Sadly, a rescuer is seldom aware of his/her underlying motivations and genuinely believe their interventions are best.

Experts believe the only way to address the Rescuer Syndrome is to face up to it. The individual responsibilities and behaviors need to change to facilitate a healthier outcome. If you find yourself slipping from mentoring to rescuing, don’t give up helping others. Instead, establish more structured roles with specific limitations.

Many companies have found mentoring programs to be a valuable asset – especially with new employees. Of course, it’s helpful to hire the right employees, and that’s where AllianceStaff steps in. We actively identify the hidden talent and the passive job-seekers for you. Top talent drives revenue, profits, and growth. Our purpose is to connect great people with great companies. Lots of search firms offer access to good people. Few meet every candidate face-to-face. Few implement an effective testing & assessment program. Few provide you the flexible employment solutions needed in a challenging economic environment. We do. Contact us today.



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