A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Benefits and Pitfalls of Coaching Employees   (PDF)

Successful managers increasingly use coaching to help employees improve performance. Coaching is a better model than counseling because it presupposes that the employee is capable of making improvements. Coaching also helps maintain a good relationships between the manager and employees. However, coaching cannot be a 'pure' coaching relationship when the manager has supervisory responsibilities for the employee. Still, successful coaching can result in a win/win outcome for both the employee and the company, even in a problem situation.

Agnew, Beth. STC Proceedings (2003). Careers>Mentoring


The Benefits and Pitfalls of Mentoring   (PDF)

A mentoring program encourages employees; can target potential managers and specific employees who need assistance; facilitates implementation of corporate strategies; requires a coordinator to administer the program, usually a person found within HR who spends no more than 1 day per week on mentoring activities.

Bailey, Elizabeth. STC Proceedings (2006). Careers>Mentoring>TC


The Benefits of Having a Mentor   (PDF)

In the first article of a new section of Intercom devoted to students, Brown recounts her experience as a novice technical writer relying on a mentor for professional guidance.

Brown, Alison. Intercom (2001). Careers>Collaboration>Mentoring


Developing a Chapter Career Day Program   (PDF)

In the past few years, our chapter has presented three or four Saturday workshops per year, including the Career Day workshop. (We offer the Saturday workshops as an alternative to the usual monthly chapter dinner meeting.) We developed our Career Day program with two tracks—one for novice technical communicators (and curious laypeople), and another for persons with some experience in the field. Initially, we cooperated with a smaller, nearby chapter with many of the same employment issues.

Thomstatter, John H. Tieline (2000). Careers>Mentoring>Community Building


Developing a Chapter Mentoring Program   (PDF)

In an effort to promote and encourage an interest in the field of technical communication through academic/professional relationships, the New York Metro Chapter has developed a mentoring pilot program with Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) in Madison, New Jersey. The chapter, along with Dr. Michael B. Goodman, Director of FDU’s M.A. program in Corporate and Organizational Communication, coordinated their efforts to select members who can serve as role models for students interested in this field.

Epp, Barbara E. STC Proceedings (1996). Careers>Mentoring>Community Building>STC


Developing Mentoring Programs for Technical Writers

Technical writers can benefit greatly from mentoring relationships. Effective mentorships can benefit both individual technical communicators by furthering their self-development and careers, and they benefit their organization by enhancing morale and productivity.

Agile Docs (2012). Careers>Education>Mentoring


Electronic Mentoring Benefits for Practicing Communicators   (PDF)

Electronic mentoring establishes relationships that might not otherwise exist. You have the opportunity to participate in professional community service, remain current on communication issues, and develop a future employment pool.

Stertzbach, Lori A. STC Proceedings (1996). Careers>Mentoring>TC


Electronic Mentoring: Benefits and Rewards   (PDF)

Electronic mentoring uses e-mail to bring the academic and business communities together without the boundaries of geography or time. Through an electronic mentoring program professionals gain insights into the academic realm from students and educators as well as give students advice based upon their experiences as communicators in business. This paper is part of the 'Expand Your Learning Community: Electronic Mentoring' panel; it focuses on the benefits to businesses. knowledge?

Dimick, Sharlyn A. STC Proceedings (1996). Careers>Mentoring>Online


Guidelines for Mentoring Programs   (PDF)

A successful mentoring relationship benefits those involved through increased confidence and a sense of direction. The relationship provides a risk-free learning environment in which to offer career guidance. Mentoring relationships can develop between individuals within an organization, between individuals in two different organizations, or between students and STC professionals.

STC. Careers>Mentoring>Management


Making the Mentor Partnership Work: Part One (for the Mentee)

Few people enter the work world with a ready-made mentor. Instead, you need to actively pursue finding one--and take good care of her once you find her.

Chroust Ehmann, Lain. TECHWR-L (2008). Careers>Mentoring


Making the Mentor Partnership Work: Part Two (For the Mentor)

When you act as a mentor, you're agreeing to serve as an ad hoc advisor and sounding board to someone less experienced in the career world than you.

Chroust Ehmann, Lain. TECHWR-L (2008). Careers>Mentoring


A Mentor's Approach to Managing Technical Communicators

A manager, especially a more hard-nosed type, may pick up a writer's draft and attack the writer, circling mistakes with red ink, demanding rewrites, and peppering the work with negative remarks. If the manager is uptight, it doesn't take very long for subordinates to become uptight also. And being too managerial may end up creating an adversarial relationship, which can thwart the writer's professional growth. On the other hand, a supportive and nurturing fellow worker -- a mentor, in other words -- can help create a positive and productive team environment. Mentors may have to be patient with their writers at times, but that patience should pay off, long-term, in results and accomplishments. When you find ways to make your people look good, they will in turn make you look good.

Sullivan, Bill. Carolina Communique (1998). Careers>Management>Mentoring


Mentoring Another Writer

Some thoughts on what it takes to effectively mentor another technical communicator.

DMN Communications (2008). Careers>Mentoring>TC>Technical Writing


Mentoring as a Two-Way Street

In a profession that does not have clear discipline boundaries or many built-in mentorships with professors and internships, most professionals in technical communication depend on fellow professionals as mentors.

Smith, Andy and Bill Albing. Carolina Communique (2006). Careers>Mentoring


The Mentoring Concept   (PDF)

The Mentoring Concept is a plan for training new writers quickly in a complex environment. A mentoring team uses checklists to plan for the training of new writers. The role of each member of the mentoring team is clearly defined. The key to the success of the mentoring relationship is the effective communication of responsibilities, requirements, and progress.

Lindsey, Jean. STC Proceedings (1993). Careers>Mentoring>Writing


Mentoring for Mainstream Usability

What mentoring is, and how it is different from consulting, training, or educating.

Schaffer, Eric M. and Susan Weinschenk. Human Factors International (2006). Careers>Mentoring>Usability


Mentoring in a Business Environment   (PDF)

Describes mentor-student relationship from both perspectives, describing the experiences of a corporate mentor and mentee and the changes in positions for writers that came with tools migration (from Ventura Publisher to FrameMaker) and new writing standards and guidelines.

Robart, Kay and K.C. Francis. Intercom (2001). Careers>Mentoring>Workplace


Mentoring in Technical Communication   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Reports on an online survey of 158 technical communication teachers who were asked about their experiences with mentoring. Finds a divergence between the academic mentor's experiences in mentoring and previously reported research on the protégée's mentoring experiences. Argues that risks are inherent in mentoring and proposes a new model that acknowledges them.

Zimmerman, Beverly B., Paul Danette and Katherine Cook Pritchard. Technical Communication Online (2009). Careers>TC>Mentoring


The Mentoring Program at Silicon Valley Chapter

The Silicon Valley Chapter STC began its mentoring program in 1999. We developed the program in response to the many requests we were receiving from students, members, and practitioners in the local area for mentors within the local STC chapter. I hope to help other chapters meet their members' needs by describing how the Silicon Valley chapter established its program.

Fisher, Lori H. Tieline (2001). Careers>Mentoring>Community Building


A Mentoring Program for Web Designers   (PDF)

Creating a mentoring program for technical writers requires quite a bit of coordination.

Leonard-Wilkinson, Theresa A. Intercom (2001). Careers>Collaboration>Mentoring


Mentoring: A Gentle Alliance

The mentor relationship has been called the 'pinnacle of work relationships.' A mentor is more than a peer, more than a coach, even more than a sponsor. Mentors typically have influence within the organization or community. They use this influence to empower their protègès. The mentor relationship is really a partnership--the mentor provides guidance and opportunities, the protègè provides energy and a fresh perspective.

Laurent, J. Suzanna. Boston Broadside (2006). Careers>Mentoring


Mentoring: Providing Professional and Organizational Benefits   (PDF)   (members only)

The role of mentoring in career development is changing. This paper examines how and why these changes are happening and what management can do to encourage mentoring as an employee development technique. Mentoring provides career benefits as well as psychological benefits for both mentors and protégés, and can facilitate a working environment that encourages individual growth.

Vallone, Thomas J. and Carole Smith. STC Proceedings (1996). Careers>Mentoring


Mentorship Days

The Mentorship program organized by the STC India chapter 2009 has been quite an enriching experience. This is the first time that I volunteered for a mentor role. It contributed immensely to my professional growth as a mentor, and, most importantly, I am happy to be of some help to a fellow writer's success.

Gupta, Rajdeep. Indus (2009). Careers>Mentoring>TC>India


Nurturing a New Writer

Technical communicators represent one of the most mobile groups of professionals I'm aware of, with some sources claiming that the average time between changing jobs is as low as four years. This means that many of us will soon find ourselves in the position of working with newcomers, whether permant staff or 'temps,' and this means we may face the problem of how to mentor or supervise someone new to our workplace. This article discusses how to work with someone who already has the basic training, but is nonetheless naive in the ways of your particular organization.

Hart, Geoffrey J.S. Geoff-Hart.com (1999). Careers>Mentoring>Writing>Technical Writing


Peer Mentoring as a Means of Career Development   (PDF)

Peer mentoring is a relationship between two individuals equal in abilities and qualifications that helps each develop or refine skills to navigate in the work environment. Peer mentoring is one of several different types of career development training including hierarchical mentoring, on-the-job training, and classroom instruction. Management can use peer mentor relationships to effectively and efficiently promote employee development and team-building.

Smith, Carole. STC Proceedings (1993). Careers>Mentoring



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