Ms Montfort

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This exercise is a maze. Its objectives are:

  • to draw the "moral" of opportunity costs: the cost of the mentoring session you do have is all the potential sessions you could have had but didnít!
  • to explore how the mentor can influence the conduct of the session in very subtle ways
  • to enable you to find out if you have any particular "bias" in your conduct of mentoring


The introductory briefing sheet on Simone Montfort leads to the first page. You select the response you would be most likely to make to the situation presented, and then click on your choice: this tells you what happens next and will present you with a further set of alternatives, and so on.

You can download a log sheet on which to note the the choices you have made: this keeps the history of the session and may be useful for reflection and perhaps discussion with others.

Although some pages quote Simone verbatim, they represent about three to five minutesí conversation, so ten pages represent about 45 minutes of a mentoring session. When you have used ten pages (if you have not come to a natural ending by then), think about how you would wind the session up, with particular reference to:

  • What Simone is likely to have learned, and
  • Your agenda and tactics for the next session.

The last (11th) line of the log is greyed out: if you are in the middle of something, you can go on to this final page, recognising that the conversation is at the cost of winding-up time.

Some sequences of pages lead to premature endings: some take you in circles. This is like real life, and presumably if you find yourself back where you were before you will take a different tack to get out of the circle.

Obviously, you will find sometimes that none of the choices correspond exactly to what you would say. In this case, choose the one which is nearest, with a view to changing direction and fine-tuning at a later point.

You can of course just play with the maze by clicking through all the options: although this has its own limited fascination, it really is better to enter into the spirit of the exercise and think about how you might really respond.

Note: At this stage the maze has not been totally "de-bugged": since there are about 531,441 potential routes through it, this isnít surprising. If you come across anything which doesnít work, please tell me. If it seems worthwhile, I hope to find ways of automating the log, and introducing other refinements.

© James Atherton
13 December 2001

    Now click here to meet Simone

    Download the log sheet (Acrobat file)