A mentor is a trusted counselor or guide, whose origins can be traced back to Ancient Greece. Mentoring requires a long term relationship where the primary goal is to support the personal and professional growth of the mentee.
Such a person does wonders for one’s professional development as many organizations have established programs to help younger employees receive guidance from their more experienced peers.
Here’s a breakdown of all the business-related versions of mentoring:
This is the most common mentoring mode as it pairs one mentor with one mentee. The two develop a personal relationship in which the mentor is able to provide individual guidance and support. It also requires minimal involvement from the HR department as the schedules are easily agreed between two people.
Resource-based mentoring is fairly similar to one-on-one mentoring. The most important difference is that mentors and mentees are not interviewed and matched by the person in charge of the program. Instead, mentors agree to have their names added to a list that mentees are able to choose from.
In this case, the mentor works with several people at once. The group has regular meetings to discuss certain topics. This is a mix of senior and peer mentoring as everybody shares their opinions and experiences. However, as is often the case with groups, it could be difficult to schedule meetings that accommodate everybody.
This version combines mentoring with a specific training program. A mentor is assigned to a mentee in order to help develop skills and competencies that are also covered in the courses that the mentee is enrolled in. Training-based mentoring is rather limited as the focus isn’t on the overall development of the mentee.
Executives who have reached a high level of success get to share their knowledge. In this way, their expertise doesn’t leave the company when they do. Executive mentoring works best one-on-one, especially when the mentor is actually teaching the mentee how to take over their position.
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