Topic 1: What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a development approach used to enhance an individual’s knowledge, skills, attitudes, behaviours and personal performance.

A mentor is a trusted adviser, an experienced individual who gives counselling, support and guidance to someone less experienced (mentee).

The relationship between the mentor and the mentee is known as mentoring.

Mentoring can be formal or informal. With informal mentoring, both mentor and mentee establish a relationship without a structured definition of objectives and goals.

A formal mentoring relationship often happens within the context of an organisation and requires a set of conventional procedures to frame the mentoring process.


Benefits of mentoring

Having a mentor can have a variety of positive effects on one’s life both personally and professionally, including:

  • Information exchange between a mentor and a mentee
  • A partnership of mutual learning
  • Intelligent and thorough career plan
  • Improvement of leadership abilities
  • Inspiration for career development
  • Achieving objectives and ambitions
  • Better and stronger networks

Ethics of mentoring – guiding ethical principles

To sustain a positive mentoring relationship, the following issues must be acknowledged and protected:


Mentors ought to honour their commitments and stand by the people they guide.


Mentors should make sure that all mentees are treated fairly and equally (regardless of cultural differences).


Mentors should promote openness and honesty in dealing with expectations.


Mentors should avoid potentially harmful multiple roles with mentees and discuss overlapping roles to minimise the risk of exploitation or bad outcomes.


Mentors should protect the  information shared in confidence by a mentee .