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Definition: Mentor

Mentoring is a relationship building-cum-employee training system wherein a superior act as an advisor, counsellor or guide to a subordinate or junior. The superior in this case is the mentor. The mentor-mentee relationships can be of various types–

  • Long-standing relationship where the mentor and mentee meet frequently
  • Shorter-term relationship where the mentor-mentee meetings are focussed at key learning stages of the mentee’s career

Coaching and mentoring are usually confused with each other. On the one hand, coaching provides direct feedback and can be a part of mentoring, whereas on the other hand, mentoring is a more holistic approach facilitating development of the individual through guidance, coaching and development opportunities.

Example: Companies like IBM, E&Y and Kraft have Cross-Cultural Mentorship Programs designed specifically for their diverse set of employees ranging from Blacks, Latinos to Asians. The Mentorship Program also extends to the women helping them to achieve their career goals under the guidance of a mentor and keeping in mind the broad set of the business functions.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Mentor along with its overview.


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