Mentoring is gradually establishing not only in the university field, but also directly in organizations, whether in external or internal form. How does it work? Where did it come from and why is it a great tool for many of us? Let's take a closer look at mentoring together with our mentors, experts and coaches.
What is mentoring?
Mentoring is a form of professional relationship between two people who trust each other. It is a one2one collaboration. This relationship is purely individual and therefor always unique. Last but not least, it should be mentioned that the two persons involved therein are equal. We can meet with mentoring at universities, which try to connect their students with experts from practice in this way, but also directly in organizations. In the latter case, there is the possibility of either internal or external mentoring with the involvement of an expert outside the organization.
What are the main goals of mentoring?
The main goal of mentoring is to transfer experience, not only professional, but also managerial soft skills that are needed to perform a given position, profession or activities. The whole mentoring process usually takes place at the workplace, so the transfer of know-how is directly realized in practice.
How does mentoring work?
A more professionally experienced, often older and career-superior mentor works directly in practice with a less experienced, sometimes even beginning colleague (mentee). The mentor passes his experience on the mentee and gives him feedback on his work. The mentee will appreciate the mentor's knowledge in both, short-term and long-term projects. Thanks to his experience at work and practice, the mentor helps the mentee to manage a new agenda, setting up the system, processes or performing analyzes, and much more. However, we must not forget that, as already mentioned, this is a relationship between two equal persons, and the positive influence is not only in the direction from the mentor to the mentee, but also the other way around. The mentor can gain new impulses, ideas and perspectives on the issue thanks to the cooperation with the mentee.
Who can be a mentor?
The mentor can be a person selected internally from the organization or an external expert. Each of the variants has its pros and contras. If someone from the internal team is selected, he or she also has a greater overview of the functioning of the organization and access to non-public and sensitive information. On the contrary, if we choose an external mentor, he is unbound by rules, more independent and often brings more new perspectives and solutions. In addition, as an external mentor can be chosen a truly experienced professional with a wealth of knowledge, often across disciplines.
Who is mentoring suitable for?
It can be said that practically for everybody who is interested in professional development under the guidance of a more experienced tutor. On the contrary, from the mentor's point of view, mentoring provides an opportunity to gain new inspiration and ideas. Mentoring is therefore great for supporting the motivation and development of both people involved. An ideal and well-established corporate mentoring has many advantages for the company. It can effectively support the team spirit, develop cooperation and a positive atmosphere. Ultimately, employees are less inclined to fluctuate through mentoring and the entire organization is more stable.
What is the difference between mentoring and coaching?
Mentoring is based on experience in the field, which is passed on. Here we see that the key is the knowledge of the field where the mentor and mentee work. Conversely, in the case of coaching, it is not necessary for the coach to have any know-how in the area in which the coachee works. The coach does not pass on experience and knowledge as a mentor, but acts as a kind of guide. The coach asks questions that help the coachee to find the right path for him. A coach is a master in the proccess of communication and guidance. On the contrary, the mentor leads and directly shows suitable solutions, improvements and possibilities.
You can learn more about coaching in our interview with professional coach Markéta.
Want to learn more about mentoring and coaching options? Write us or send us an inquiry, we will be happy to share our knowledge with you and find the right path of development for you and your company.