What is mentoring?

Section subject: The concept of mentoring and how it can be defined.


Mentoring is an established method used by organisations to develop individuals and help them reach their full potential.

Many definitions of ‘mentoring’ have been offered, but it defies definition by its very nature. It has been used in different establishments for different purposes and possesses a variety of designs and systemic approaches.

It is recognised that mentoring is a complex process between individuals, which again, is not straightforward to define.

Learning objectives

This section will help you to:

What do you think mentoring is?

What is mentoring?

Mentoring definitions

Final word

There are many reasons that people choose to mentor and mentors can often get as much out of the experience as the mentee. Whatever the reason, there are tangible benefits for both the mentor and the mentee.

It might be worthwhile to consider a slightly different approach: that the definitions are not as important as the relationship between the mentor and mentee and the benefits that such a relationship might bring.

You might like to reflect on the issues arising from this section and make some notes for the future.

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