American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

What is Mentoring?

We all have a need for insight that is outside of our normal life and educational experience. The power of mentoring is that it creates a one-of-a-kind opportunity for collaboration, goal achievement, and problem solving.

Mentoring is a developmental partnership through which one person shares knowledge, skills, information, and perspective to foster the personal and professional growth of someone else.

Types of Mentoring

  • Informal—This is what most people think of when they think of mentoring: a spontaneous, casual relationship where a senior person takes a junior person "under his or her wing" and provides long-term guidance and counsel. Yet many people who want mentors do not have them. The desire to give everyone access to mentoring has led many organizations to start "formal" or structured mentoring programs.
  • Structured—Structured mentoring programs are designed to create a culture where people can proactively support the development of one another. In these programs, mentors are generally matched with mentees to support specific goals such as leadership development, diversity, or retention.

Mentoring can be delivered:

  • One-on-one, typically with a more senior person mentoring a less senior individual, or in small teams.
  • In teams consisting of peers with different backgrounds and skills mentoring each other or a small group matched with a more senior person. Peer mentoring teams are effective since they are based on the concept of mutual benefit; participants receive support and advice as they provide support and advice for others.

Explore the Power of Passionate Mentoring! |  Benefits of Mentoring

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