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date: 26 September 2018

Abstract and Keywords

Like other relationships, the quality of mentoring relationships falls along a continuum ranging from high quality to dysfunctional. Although most mentoring research has focused on relationships that are average in quality, at its best, mentoring personifies the very essence of positive relationships at work. Using a positive lens, this chapter offers an overview of the construct of relational mentoring. Relational mentoring represents the relational state of high-quality mentoring and is defined as an interdependent and generative developmental relationship that promotes mutual growth, learning, and development within the career context. The construct of relational mentoring is presented and contrasted with traditional approaches to mentoring. The antecedents, functions, processes, and characteristics of relational mentoring are examined. Mentoring schema theory, the self-structures of mentoring framework, and the relational cache cycle are applied to relational mentoring. A preliminary measure of relational functions is presented, along with an agenda for future research on mentoring relationships and mentoring episodes.

Keywords: Keywords, Mentoring relationships, positive relationships at work, relational mentoring, high-quality mentoring, developmental relationship, mentoring schema theory, self-structures of mentoring, relational cache cycle, relational functions, mentoring epi

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