The site is designed to assist both mentors and mentees in developing and sustaining mutually beneficial relationships.
What a mentor is ...
A mentor is a trusted friend, advisor and teacher. Mentoring is a form of development where one person shares knowledge, insight, perspective and wisdom to help another individual reach his or her fullest potential.
A mentor is person-focused. The mentee can pick and choose what he or she will do without a specific performance component. Mentors are a source of information about an organization’s mission and goals. They provide insight into organizational culture and how to function effectively within that cultural context. Mentors are confidants who provide coaching and feedback, and who can assist with career planning and development.
What a mentor is not ...
- A coach. A coach is job-focused, helping an individual do and be the best they can within the context of a job.
- A supervisor. A supervisor is results-focused, working to maximize individuals' productivity.
Mentees should have a significant and proactive role in any mentoring relationship. Mentees are responsible for their own growth and development and need to show a degree of initiative in beginning and sustaining a mentoring relationship. Mentees need to demonstrate growth potential and are receptive to coaching and feedback. The key to being an effective mentee is a commitment to life-long learning.
A study by Starcevich and Friend reported what mentees gained from a mentoring relationship. Mentees stated that their mentor:
- Listened and understood me
- Challenged me
- Coached me
- Built my self-confidence
- Was a wise counsel
- Taught by example
- Was a role model
- Offered encouragement
Formal vs. Informal Mentoring Relationships
Formal mentoring relationships are more traditional, highly structured and institutionalized. Often, these relationships are focused on organizational needs, and have assigned mentors, measurable outcomes, and a fixed duration and focus.
Informal mentoring relationships are voluntary, loosely structured, and more personal and relationship-based. Matches are made based upon the mentee’s needs, and the skills, knowledge and abilities of the mentor. These relationships are of no fixed duration and can range from a just-in-time period to a relationship that lasts for years.
Using the Web Site
This web site is designed to support you in developing effective mentoring relationships. Let us know if there are other resources you would like to see added.