Mentoring is a powerful skill that can help move individuals forward on developmental and performance goals. In this article we define 'what is mentoring' and how you can become an effective mentor.

What is mentoring?

Here are some definitions to clarify what mentoring is.

A mentor is an experienced and trusted advisor Oxford Dictionary
Mentoring is a form of employee development whereby a trusted and respected person “the mentor” uses their experience to offer guidance, encouragement, career advice, and support to another person “the mentee”. The aim of mentoring is to facilitate the mentee's learning and development and to enable them to discover more about their potential. Mentoring can occur informally or it can be arranged by means of an organisational program.
Source:Bnet.co.uk

According the Oxford Dictionary the word mentor has its origins from Greek history.

"In Greek Mentōr, the name of the adviser of the young Telemachus in Homer's Odyssey."

To be an effective mentor you should first be comfortable as to what is coaching. To facilitate development and ideas from the Mentee, the Mentor should use coaching questions to structure the sessions they have.

Key Skills of a Mentor are the ability to:

Questioning

Summarising

Structuring

Clarity

Listening

Coaching versus Mentoring?

We're often asked what are the differences between coaching and mentoring. They are similar in so many ways, yet when we use them can make a difference. For the perceptive of you you will notice that there are some similarities to

As general rule the differences are as follows:

Mentoring

Guides

Pass on knowledge & skills

Telling

Expert (usually)

Gives advice

Coaching

Steers

Facilitating sSelf learning

Asking

May have no knowledgeNon-Expert

Solicits the answer

versus

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About the author

phil laviolettephil laviolette

Hi!, I'm Phil LaViolette, Founder and Owner of evalu8d. I created resourcily to share hints, tips and resources I've collected over 20 years of training and coaching, across lots of industries and at all levels. I hope that, even in a small way, you gain from the tools I share!
Phil