| Linda Culp Dowling |
& Cecile Culp Mielenz,
Mentor Manager/Mentor Parent:
How to Develop Responsible People
& Build Successful Relationships at Work & at Home
As both a parent and a manager, I know how much one role informs the other, although I am not always certain how to use this knowledge to my advantage. Linda Culp Dowling, a management trainer and coach, and Cecile Culp Mielenz, a child development consultant, combine forces to develop a practical way to apply these roles in both settings in Mentor Manager/Mentor Parent: How to Develop Responsible People & Build Successful Relationships at Work and at Home.
Dowling and Mielenz present a solid, clear step-by-step procedure for cultivating employees and children and giving them the tools they need to make decisions that reflect the organization or family's goals and values. The steps -- structuring, coaching, conferencing and letting go -- build on top of each other, and there are tons of examples and opportunities to practice each step throughout the book.
Mentor Manager/Mentor Parent begins with a self-test that determines your style of control. The styles are: boss, manipulator, martyr and mentor. The reader refers back to these scores later in the book. While I found the book to be lucid, well written and practical, I did not find the test useful. You are supposed to choose the response that most closely matches your own response to the situations, and when I did that, I turned out to be a "mentor." Yet in reading the descriptions, I felt that I was more of a "martyr." I suggest that those aspiring to follow this program might benefit more from just reading about the types and being honest with themselves about control styles.
Anyone can benefit from the skills presented here, although there are always employees and children who may not respond to this approach. Overall, this is a straightforward and practical method worth trying with an organization and/or a family.