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Developing Mentoring Skills at the Workplace

Executive Development Programs

Program 6: Developing Mentoring Skills at the Workplace


Mentoring is a relationship, which gives people the opportunity to share their professional and personal skills and experiences, and to grow and develop in the process.

Typically, it is a one-to-one relationship between a more experienced and a less experienced employee. It is based upon encouragement, constructive comments, openness, mutual trust, respect and a willingness to learn and share.

The key to successful implementation of mentoring is sound preparation including planning and design, an effective communication strategy and regular feedback with a readiness to adapt as necessary.

The Mentoring Model

Mentoring is often seen as a relationship between a senior and a more junior person – like a master and an apprentice. This can be a useful approach to mentoring but can also pose some problems for adult learners. Mentors can get just as much out of the relationship as a mentee and being seen as a teacher, coach etc. can be unhelpful and limiting. Mentors may also be asked, often inappropriately, to lobby on behalf of their mentee.

Viewing mentoring as a learning partnership can be more helpful. Status and power can be ignored, mentors do more listening and questioning and advice is only offered once the mentee has had the opportunity to explore the options for themselves. This approach has a lot to recommend it.

When mentoring is defined broadly there are many possibilities for its use. In its simplest form the mentoring model can be the mentor enabling their mentee to figure out where they are going, where they want to be, how they will get there and how they are progressing.

Mentoring that takes place between individuals can be given different labels depending of the extent of the formality of relationship and the difference in status of the people participating in the relationship. For example, Peer mentoring is a type of mentoring relationship where colleagues or staff at similar stages in their careers supports each other either individually or in groups.


In this workshop the participant will learn about mentoring and what it takes to be a mentor.

By the end of this workshop they should have a much clearer idea of mentoring and more specifically, they will be able to:

  1. Describe what mentoring means to them
  2. Describe a model of mentoring
  3. Outline the benefits of mentoring
  4. Describe the roles and responsibilities of mentors and mentees
  5. Outline the critical skills required by mentors
  6. Describe potential phases in the mentoring relationship
  7. Utilize some tools to help manage the mentoring relationship

Program Outline

Introduction & Objectives

  • Welcome Remarks by Senior Management Representative
  • Review of Workshop Objectives & Expected Outcomes of the Workshop
  • Rules for the Road/Engagement – “S.C.O.P.E.”

Demystifying Mentoring

  • What Mentoring is and isn’t?
  • How it differs from coaching, counseling and training?
  • Benefits to The ‘Mentor’, ‘Mentee’ and The Organization
  • Linking Mentoring to the organization’s Vision, Mission and Goals

The Making of an Effective Mentor

  • The key attributes of a Mentor
  • The Core Mentoring Skills

Creating the Mentoring Environment

  • Telling vs. Asking approaches introduced, compared and critiqued
  • Insight and understanding to establishing the necessary elements for effective Mentoring interactions
  • Distinguishing the moment when an individual is open to accepting new information that will positively impact and shift their knowledge and behaviour

Mentoring in Action

  • The Conversation Model
  • Helping Mentees bridge the gap from the present situation to the desired state
  • Using effective and powerful open-ended questions
  • Active Listening Test

Mentoring Skills Practice

  • An exercise where each participant will practice the Conversation Model and experience being mentored
  • Practical application of mentoring –techniques

Wrap Up and Action Plan

  • Personal Development Plan
  • Top Three Priorities for Implementation (30 days, 60 days and 90 days)
  • Recommended Further Readings

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