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
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