Co-Mentoring: A Block Approach

Kathryn J Deiss, Kristen Totleben


This article discusses a unique approach to a mentoring relationship. Beginning as a traditional mentoring relationship in late 2012, the authors later changed it to a co-mentoring relationship. During the ALA Midwinter Conference’s 2013 President’s Program in which Peter Block was a speaker, the author who was the mentor became re-inspired by his ideas about abundance, leadership, and community and could see powerful applications to the already formed mentoring relationship she had with the author in the mentee role. This article highlights the evolution of a mentoring relationship, transforming it from a traditional hierarchical nature to one of a “commitment to equality, deep self-awareness and intentionality” (Block’s ALA presentation). The authors explore how and why a co-mentoring relationship works for them and how it may be applicable to others interested in sustaining a mentoring relationship. Other discussion includes how this relationship affects careers and lives, with benefits that carry over to the organizations in which they work.


mentoring; relationship-buiding; power differentials

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American library Association Texas Digital Library