2 Types of Mentoring

There are 2 Kinds of Mentor Conversations which are needed to effectively and quickly increase performance and results. Highly effective mentoring programs don’t just assign mentors and then hope quality relationships, effective learning, and performance improvement will happen. The most effective programs create structures and strategies to ensure their desired results will occur. HERE is the structure to use to create DOUBLE impact from your mentoring.


The fundamental truth is that the most effective mentoring is a mutual learning and reciprocal support situation. While they work to help proteges learn and improve, the mentors are challenged and learn because facilitating another person’s learning is not simple. In fact, it’s so challenging that best practice asserts that mentors need mentoring to support their own growth!

Therefore, at the foundation of all effective mentoring, is the core requirement that each individual is BEING MENTORED, and at the same time is MENTORING. THAT is how to double the impact of mentoring !

  • Mentors must be positioned to give their own experience and the wisdom that comes from such experience. It is the access to that wisdom and experience which accelerates protege learning and development. You know that. What you may not have considered is that…
  • Mentors need to be mentored and supported in their own learning too. Mentors don’t have all the answers, especially not in today’s fast paced, competitive, ever changing, performance and results-oriented environment!


So if mentors need to be continual learners too, from whom will they learn?

  • Their PEERS – Other practicing and growing mentors (Read below)
  • EXPERT Mentors – Someone we call the Mentor of Mentors, (MoM).

Therefore, there are two kinds of mentoring relationships in which we should all be involved, The 2 types of mentoring illustratedexpert-to-less experienced, and peer-to-peer. Here are some examples of how this can look.

Examples of Expert – Novice (Legacy) Mentoring are:

  • New employee induction mentoring
  • An experienced employee mentoring another experienced employee who knows less
    about a topic
  • Supervisor – employee mentoring
  • Leadership development or promotion-oriented mentoring
  • Adult – student mentoring
  • Advanced student – basic student mentoring.

Examples of Peer-to-Peer Mentoring are:

  • Peer follow up support for implementation of training i the daily work
  • Peer mentoring to support reflective practice among experienced employees
  • Peer support for self-assessment against a list of competencies, and then for work to improve performance.

This core concept should be implemented at every level of the program and for each stakeholder IF the program expects accelerated improvements in individual performance and results to occur.

For information and support for YOUR efforts to do that and on how to make such results happen in your setting, JOIN theĀ  IMA. The International Mentoring Association exists to provide exactly that support and expertise to you. We offer you participation in a “Strategic Mentoring Culture” that includes both expert and peer mentoring to meet your needs and help your program achieve it’s potential.