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Mentoring is a voluntary partnership between two individuals, one who is more experienced (the mentor) and one who is less experienced (the mentee). The relationship is based on a set of mutually agreed goals and guidelines and is used as a tool to enhance the mentee’s development through sharing knowledge, skills and experience. The process is usually mutually beneficial. 

Two people at a table next to a window talking - the woman is writing notes

Benefits to mentors

There are a vast range of personal development benefits that mentors can gain through a mentoring relationship. These include:

  • Enhanced communication skills
  • Extended personal network
  • Exposure to new perspectives and opinions
  • Increased self-confidence and self-awareness
  • Leadership skill development
  • Enhanced ability to share feedback.

Alongside these, mentoring can successfully prepare individuals for promotion and career progression. Many of the key skills gained through mentoring prime individuals to become effective managers, team leaders or senior leaders.

Benefits to mentees

Mentees stand to gain a lot from a positive mentoring relationship, including:

  • Ability to learn from others’ experiences
  • Extended personal network
  • Increased capacity to self-reflect
  • Improved communication skills
  • Enhanced ability to ask good questions
  • Increased self-confidence and self-awareness
  • Increased understanding of goal setting
  • Exposure to new perspectives and opinions.

Mentoring can be an excellent way for mentees to find support and guidance outside of their line-management, organisation or profession. Widening these networks is a very important way for individuals to grow in confidence and knowledge, and gain exposure to new ways of thinking.

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