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Sixth International Mining Geology Conference

Conference Proceedings

Sixth International Mining Geology Conference

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Mentoring - Fostering Relationships to Enrich Decision-Making

Mother Nature controls, technical professionals model and miners decide. Decisions to explore, mine and mill. Mine decisions, mine design, planning and scheduling are subject to the quality of models - geological models, geotechnical models, resource models, density models. The closer these models are to reality, the more accurate the predicted outcome._x000D_
So why is it we delegate the modelling tasks to the most junior and least experienced people? If we insist on this, we need to support them - to provide them with experience accelerators'. Technical mentoring is the most effective way to provide the right information at the right time. When this information (read skills) is supplied at the right time we can inject experience into the quality of our modelling and into our decision- making processes._x000D_
The objective of this paper is to share those behaviours and manners that foster relationships and create frameworks for skills and experience transfer. Central to this is an understanding of how adults learn, an understanding of the basic rules of mentoring etiquette, and the three keys to building meaningful mentoring relationships._x000D_
An understanding of adult learning processes and styles provides a structure within which a mentor can understand the learner's perspective. Understanding the world from the learner's point is critical to selecting the right language to engage, teach and transfer skills._x000D_
Basic rules of mentoring etiquette like timeliness, respect and trust need to be brought into the consciousness so they can be agreed on and monitored to prevent conflicts in cultural and generational norms between the mentor and the learner._x000D_
Meaningful relationships hinge on the three behaviours: truly listening, rather than just hearing; understanding the technical issues within the WIIFM (what's in it for me?) question; and facilitative behaviour._x000D_
Stronger and more meaningful technical mentoring relationships within our industry will bridge the generational gap and ensure we can capture and capitalise on the wealth of grey hair experience and develop an informed group of young decision-makers._x000D_
FORMAL CITATION:Coombes, J, 2006. Mentoring - fostering relationships to enrich decision-making, in Proceedings Sixth International Mining Geology Conference, pp 291-296 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).
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  • Published: 2005
  • PDF Size: 0.465 Mb.
  • Unique ID: P200606032

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