Mentoring is the relationship between an experienced individual called the mentor and a less experienced individual referred to as mentee. The relationship focuses on the preparation of the mentee for a new role or post. This may include the induction to a new job, the understanding of a formal structure or the development of personal and professional networks.
Although most of the benefit in the mentoring relationship is to the mentee there are also many benefits to the mentor. They can develop their own skills and gain immensely. They can also see improvements in job satisfaction and in their personal lives as they are contributing positively to another person's development. The benefits to the mentee including advice, guidance and support from more experienced individuals as well as a person to discuss problems that are better kept confidential.
Role of the mentor
The mentor may be defined in several ways. These include as a trusted friend, counselor, guide, advocate, role model or information provider. The role varies according to the experience and the needs of the person involved. It is important for the mentor to keep the items discussed in meeting confidential in order to foster a relationship with the mentee as well as to ensure the issues discussed do not go back to the source of the problem.
The mentor must be able to listen to the mentee and provide support in problem solving or the development of plans to tackle problems. They must provide motivation and be positively critical when necessary to show the mentee how to make improvements. The relationship of the mentor to the mentee must never be compromised by any personal relationship outside of a friendship.