The Mentoring Philosophy

Mentoring is sharing your learnings with someone else. It is a relationship that facilitates purposeful conversation that allows the mentee to reflect on their own experience, make informed decisions and act upon the ideas that are generated.

The purpose of mentorship is development for both the mentors and the mentees. The mentorship conversation enables the mentee to set and achieve goals, make decisions and solve problems. It provides the mentee with the support and confidence necessary to do something that they might not be able to do on their own.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 October 2010 22:00

What is mentoring and how can it help you?

A mentor has traditionally been seen as someone senior to you who helps you build your skills, make decisions and deal with change. In the past this was seen a passive process where the mentor would provide advice to the mentee without much focus or clear direction. While some of this still holds, may mentorship relationships see the mentee as being much more involved in directing the process. The relationship typically has more precision and structure. The onus is on the mentee to prepare a plan and communicate this to the mentor. Mentors can provide training, help mentees navigate political land mines or make contacts in the community or organization. Good mentors do this in such a manner as to help the mentees build confidence and trust that they are capable of accomplishing more than they would venture on their own.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 October 2010 22:10

How long should a mentoring relationship last?

We typically recommend that both sides agree to a 9 month commitment. After that time they can agree to another "round" of sessions, however, the relationship has typically changed and therefore it is a good idea to restart the relationship with slightly different roles and expectations of both parties. This also provides an obvious point in which to celebrate the success and progress of the relationship. Seeing the changes that are occurring greatly contribute to the motivation and focus of the second set of sessions.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 October 2010 22:01

How frequently should we meet?

Again, this is agreed upon at the beginning of the relationship. Once a month might be a good place to start. After a few months this should be revisited and adjusted if deemed necessary. The critical point is that both the mentee and mentor should feel that this is a worthwhile use of their time.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 October 2010 22:02

How long should a mentoring session last?

While it is important for the mentee and mentor to discuss this at the onset of the relationship, typically between one and two hour sessions are the norm. This gives enough time to get into the details of situations, yet allows both parties to get on with the daily requirements.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 October 2010 21:56

Who would be a good mentor?

That really depends on what you want to learn or achieve through the relationship. Different mentors bring different strengths to the table. It is up to you to figure out what you want to learn or experience and then find someone who can provide this for you. Ask others in your organization who they would recommend. Then have a conversation with a few prospective mentors and determine who best matches your personality. You can always have multiple mentors, in fact this is often recommended over the span of a career. It is important to get a good one right off the start to give you a positive feel for what mentoring is and how it can play a critical role in your development.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 October 2010 22:03

What is the difference between coaching and mentoring?

Coaching is primarily about performance and the development of specific skills. Mentoring is more broadly based and intuitive, focusing on developing capability and confidence. Mentors are typically familiar with the area in which the mentee want to learn. They often know some of the players in the sector and can help with expanding the contacts for the mentee.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 October 2010 21:58