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Mentoring -- Question & Answer Listing  
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Question / Answer

Question:
What effect does a mentor have on a new member of a group?

Answer:
Mentors provide support, direction, insight, and advice to build an individual’s confidence and self-esteem. Connecting a new member of a group with a mentor is a great way to help the individual fit in. If it is a workplace environment, the mentor can reduce the learning curve for the new member.

Question:
What is a mentor?

Answer:
A mentor is defined as someone, typically older and/or more experienced, who provides advice, support, and encouragement to a younger and/or less experienced person. A mentor should be honest, sincere, and trustworthy.

Question:
What is the difference between mentoring and coaching?

Answer:
Mentors and coaches have similar goals, but can be quite different. Mentors offer support, guidance, and encourage to others using their own expert knowledge or experience as tools to help develop their mentees. The relationship is usually one of senior/junior or expert/learner and is most often a one-on-one relationship. Mentees often learn by shadowing their mentor or by working closely with him/her. In general, coaches try to influence an individual’s development through inspiration and training. Although a coach may be more experienced than the individual(s) being coached, he/she does not have to be. Coaches help develop individuals by providing instruction and motivation.

Question:
What should I do if my mentee's needs exceed my experience of knowledge?

Answer:
Although your role as a mentor is to share your knowledge and experience to a mentee in order to help him/her develop and grow, you are not expected to be the sole resource for your mentee. Offer additional resources to meet mentee's needs such as external training opportunities, experiences with other organizations, etc., and support your mentee as he/she pursues assistance from other resources.
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