Two persons working together

Share knowledge Mentoring

Mentoring is a development tool in which an experienced executive – the mentor – shares his or her experience with a high potential – the mentee.

Sharing know-how and experience

The key objective is to promote the mentee’s professional development. Mentoring extends from the simple sharing of professional insights to career planning strategies and aspects of personality development.

In many cases, mentoring tandems initiate their partnership themselves. Some organizations also offer standardized mentoring programs in which mentors and mentees are assigned to each other.

What are key characteristics of a fruitful mentoring relationship?

Dedication of both parties is crucial: The mentor seeks to promote his or her mentee, and the mentee is open for advice and suggestions. Both share a bond of trust and meet on a regular basis to share experiences. The following topics usually play a key role:

  • The mentor offers assistance with respect to specific internal obstacles or challenges.
  • The mentee is prepared for key assignments, assuring his or her qualification.
  • The mentee’s positioning is strengthened (see also Sponsoring).

What are key success factors?

  • Mentor and mentee
    • do not have a direct working relationship,
    • have different hierarchical levels,
    • and complement each other very well concerning their respective experiences.
  • The mentor is open to the exchange, is an experienced executive and well connected in the organization.
  • The mentee’s specific objectives are assessed at the beginning of the collaboration and are reviewed on a regular basis.

Tips for smaller organizations

  • If an organization does not have the critical mass or the necessary resources, a cross-company mentoring program conducted by an industry association or a start-up network can be utilized.
  • In organizations with very flat hierarchies, an external mentor is recommended.

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