Q&A (What is mentoring?)

What is a Mentor?

A mentor is a trusted and experienced advisor who trains and counsels less experienced people. They listen, offer advice and guide a mentee as they work through their own difficulties.

What are the benefits of Mentoring?

Mentoring has been shown to help develop individuals within all kinds of organisations at all levels. Mentoring increases employee motivation, performance and retention rates.  Leaders have found mentoring to be a useful tool when embedding new ideas and changes with in an organisation. Mentoring also has benefits for the leaders themselves and also prepares new leaders for the complexity and variety of challenges they will face.

How is mentoring different from coaching?

Mentoring utilises the experiences of the Mentor to transfer applicable knowledge and skills to the mentee. n\while providing encouragement, advice and reassurance.

Coaching do not necessarily rely on the coach having experienced the journey the person receiving coaching is on. Coaching is based on a belief that the person being coached holds the answers within them, and the coach is using support to help the person being coached to discover the answers themselves. 

There are two main types of mentoring:

  • Technical mentoring – the process of supporting someone to learn the skills for the task they are going to perform (for example, how to do their job).
  • Pastoral mentoring – the process of providing the ‘whole-picture’ holistic support that a mentee needs.

A mentoring session will often focus on whatever the issue or barrier the mentee is experiencing at that particular time.

Can Mentors coach people?

Coaching can be used as a valuable tool in a Mentoring session. The goal of Mentoring is to support the mentee to approach challenges as independently as possible and overcome those challenges. If that Mentee already has the skills to achieve this, it is far more beneficial to encourage and rediscover those skills rather than starting from scratch.