What is Mentoring?
There are numerous definitions and descriptions of mentoring. Most of them involve concepts such as guiding, supporting, advising and career planning.
“Mentoring involves listening with empathy, sharing experience (usually mutually), professional friendship, developing insight through reflection, being a sounding board, and encouraging.” David Clutterbuck
“Mentoring is a long term relationship that meets a developmental need, helps develop full potential, and benefits all partners: mentor, mentee and the organisation.” Suzanne Faure
“The purpose of mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be.” Eric Parsloe
One to one mentoring should be a positive developmental relationship, which is driven primarily by the mentee and through which the mentee can take responsibility for their own development. The mentor should act as a guide, supporter, sounding board and, sometimes, as a role model. This form of mentoring creates a confidential partnership between two people, one normally more senior and experienced than the other, based on understanding and trust. The main aim of one to one mentoring is to build knowledge, capability and selfreliance in the mentee although it is often described as a twoway learning relationship which provides useful feedback and reflection opportunities for both mentee and mentor.
The GROW programme generally involves a one-to-one relationship although both mentors and mentees are offered the opportunity to be involved in a mentoring circle if they so wish.