What is Mentoring?


Mentoring is a power-free partnership between two individuals who desire mutual growth. One of the individuals usually has greater skills, experiences, and wisdom (Weinstein, 1998).

  • Mentoring is a journey that requires perseverance
  • Mentoring includes helping mentoring partners to determine their priorities, uncover their passions, and honestly address their pain.
  • Mentoring concentrates on the needs of the one being mentored, not on the agenda of the mentor.
  • Mentoring focuses on changing people from the inside out, not the outside in.
  • Mentoring involves the spiritual side of a person, not just the physical, mental, and emotional aspects.
  • Mentoring is one of the best ways to have a significant personal impact on society, even for generations.

(Source: The Heart of Mentoring, Stoddard, D., 2003)

What is a Mentor?

A mentor is someone who…

  • is a friend, adviser, coach, role model, guide and sponsor.
  • is above all available and makes the time commitment to the mentoring partner.
  • is able to establish a trusting relationship.
  • has the ability to empower the mentoring partner.
  • has the ability to honor the mentoring partner’s autonomy.
  • encourages the mentoring partner’s development of supportive relationships with peers, faculty, staff and industry.
  • has the ability to tap into organizational networks and opportunities available.

What is a Mentoring Partner?

Mentoring is an interactive process. Successful mentoring is not only based on the characteristics of the mentor, but also attributes possessed by the mentoring partner.

A successful mentoring partner should have the following characteristics:

  • Motivation
  • Interest in developing new skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Goal oriented
  • Willing to assume responsibility for own growth and development
  • Seeks challenging assignments
  • Is receptive to feedback and coaching