Mentoring is a collaborative relationship that occurs between senior and junior employee for the reason of mentee’s growth in terms of personal and professional life. Mostly the mentor and mentee are internal to the organisation and mentor usually align mentee to organisational goals and culture. Mentor often act as role models for their mentee and help them to solve their problems and guide them to reach their goals.
There are various forms of mentoring i.e. formal or informal.
Formal mentoring means when the goals set by the mentor and mentee are actionable, achievable, specific, and measurable. Goals have a fixed timeline and mentor-mentee strive to achieve that goal.
Informal mentoring, mentees set goals which are usually not measurable. The environment for mentoring is informal and unstructured. There is no timeline set and the relationship between mentor and mentee is not formal.
Formal mentoring is usually preferred for the professional growth because the goals are aligned with the overall objective of the organisation and will help the mentee to step up the career ladder.
Why is Mentoring Important?
Mentoring is important because a good mentor helps the mentee to be more effective, clear and confident about his/her work. Mentoring helps the mentee to grow which ultimately leads to better job satisfaction, higher motivation, higher productivity etc. Mentor also helps the mentee to improve at personal life by helping him/her removing the roadblocks or understanding the situation with a better perspective. This will help the mentee to gain confidence and hence, be able to improve personal life.
Professional mentoring include expansion of generational and cultural perspectives, strengthening of skills like technical, interpersonal skills, empathy, leadership, communication, negotiation, etc. which will ultimately help in gaining new insights and continue to experience new ideas.
Different Types of Mentoring
- One-on-one mentoring – It is the most traditional type of mentoring. Only mentor and mentee are involved where a more-experienced individual paired with a less-experienced mentee or a younger mentee.
- Group Mentoring – There are several mentors with group of mentees. This is usually successful when there are lot of people and lack of time and resources. Institutes like schools, youth programs, etc often use this type of mentoring.
- Peer Mentoring – In this type of mentoring, participants and peer are from same role or the same department must have shared similar experiences whether in their personal and professional lives. Pairs often support each other to solve problems. It can be either group or one-on-one mentoring relationship.
- E-Mentoring – When participants connect virtually through online software or even through e-mails, then this mentoring will come under E-mentoring or distance mentoring.
- Reverse Mentoring – This is the flipped model of traditional mentoring where a junior employee mentors a senior professional. This relationship is usually for the junior professional to teach new skills or technology to the senior one.
- Speed Mentoring – It is a play on speed dating and usually occurs during corporate events or conferences. In this mentee usually have a series of a one-on-one conversation with different mentors and gain insights from them.