Checklist: Mentoring in Practice

Monday 14 November 2016

Mentoring is a relationship in which one person (the mentor) – who is usually more experienced and often more senior – supports another (the learner or mentee) with regular guidance, feedback and confidential discussion, so that he or she can become more self-aware, knowledgeable and confident, and develop their potential and capability.

A mentoring relationship may be informal, between two people who respect and trust each other or it can be a more formal arrangement agreed upon as part of an organised mentoring scheme. The relationship differs from that between a trainer and a trainee, or a line manager and their reports, where seniority comes into play.

The mentor can be any person with appropriate experience, ability and knowledge. His or her role is to listen, ask questions, act as a source of information and guidance, build confidence and signpost opportunities for learning from which the mentee can benefit. The mentor’s aim is to help mentees form their own views, develop different perspectives, grow as a person and work towards or achieve their goals, not to instruct them or tell them what to do.