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Quiz: What's your mentoring style?

Are you a supportive mentor or the type who inspires only universal dread? Take C+D’s quiz to find out

Are you a supportive mentor or the type who inspires universal dread? Take C+D's quiz to find out.


1. It's the first meeting with your new mentee. What do you do?

a. Prepare them for the stresses and strains of dispensary life by bombarding them with phrases Gordon Ramsay would be proud of. If they can't stand the heat of pharmacy, they should get out of the kitchen. Or something like that.

b. Talk to them about their expectations and interests and set clear goals for them to achieve over the next three months.

c. Chat about what they're up to this weekend and friend them on Facebook so you can ‘like' that picture of them downing vodka shots. Life at your pharmacy is full of LOLs.


2. Your mentee has been asked to take on more responsibilities and feels nervous at the prospect. How do you help them?

a. Give them a rousing pep talk that, inexplicably, leaves them shaking, crying and muttering to themselves.

b. Talk to them about their concerns to help them decide whether they are genuinely not ready for the responsibility or just suffering from nerves.

c. Explain that you used to feel the same way, but found a few tablets from the controlled drugs cabinet put an end to all that.


3. Your mentee is consistently turning up 15 minutes late. How do you react?

a. Start a ‘name and shame' board detailing the number of times each member of staff is late, threatening to strap an alarm clock to the latest employee's chest. Ritual humiliation is the most effective form of learning.

b. Explain the importance of being on time and find out whether there is any reason behind their lateness.

c. Give them a congratulatory pat on the back. For you, 15 minutes late is a good day.


4. Your area manager visits and expresses concerns over the pharmacy's performance. How do you communicate this to your mentee?

a. A simple "you're fired" will suffice.

b. You explain all the manager's concerns and highlight areas where your mentee could make a difference, but make clear it's not a reflection on them and that it's up to the whole team to improve.

c. Convince them to help you stick an ‘I'm stupid' Post-it on the area manager's jacket.


5. How would you sum up your mentoring approach in three words?

a. Terrifying, terrifying and – you guessed it – terrifying.

b. Caring, honest and approachable.

c. I'm a mentor?


Mostly As: Bully-in-training

When it comes to mentoring, fear is your speciality. Your approach would make Alan Sugar appear tame and, chances are, you may be one of the few people able to cram more four-letter words into a sentence than Gordon Ramsay. You may feel your terrifying demeanour is necessary to command the respect of your team, but if your mere presence is enough to turn your mentee into a quivering wreck, take it as a sign that you have perhaps gone too far.


Mostly Bs: Training champion

You realise that listening is an important part of being a mentor and are keen to encourage your mentee's development by being honest and supportive. You have also successfully managed to tread the fine line between being a power-crazed control freak and overgrown child with no sense of professional boundaries. Well done.


Mostly Cs: Train wreck

You can be a mentor and a friend, right? In theory, the answer is yes. But when the friendship involves playground tactics (with the added involvement of alcohol and controlled drugs) it's fair to say that a line has been crossed. Try adopting a more professional approach – if others don't like it, they will face the wrath of your Post-it notes.


Numark's learning and development manager Yvonne Tuckley explains what makes an effective mentor


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