This is a process in which one person (the mentor) actively encourages your development outside the normal line management relationship.

Getting best value

  • Agree clear objectives at the outset
  • Build a close and trusting relationship
  • Use your mentor as a sounding board
  • Draw on his or her wider knowledge and experience
  • Seek his or her advice on how to approach specific tasks or improve particular skills
  • Question your assumptions and mental models
  • Develop your own leadership and coaching skills

Mentoring v Coaching

These terms are often interchanged. In essence, the role of the mentor is advisory rather than directive, and complements that of the line manager, who remains responsible for overseeing your work, coaching and development. Mentoring should be long-term, informal, and focused on your needs. It is a confidential relationship: the mentor must not report to your line manager.