To anyone who wants to gain a foundation in mentoring, and managers and team leaders who want to develop or refine their mentoring skills.


Mentoring at

Like all relationships, mentoring comes with its share of obstacles. Effectively building and maintaining a mentoring relationship is important for creating a satisfying and productive pairing.

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A mentoring relationship consists of three distinct stages, each with its own particular characteristics.

Stages in the mentoring relationship

Stage One

This is the first stage in the mentoring relationship. It tends to last for up to six months. During this stage, mentor and mentee work on building rapport and setting direction.

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Stage Two

This is the middle stage in the mentoring relationship. It starts after around 6 months at the latest, and lasts for up to 18 months. During this stage, the mentor isn't actively involved in the mentee's tasks or projects, but does act as a sounding board.

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Stage Three

This is the final stage in the mentoring relationship. It begins after around 24 months, and lasts for around 6 months. It's the winding down of the relationship, after which the mentee is independent and self-reliant.

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There are four key guidelines that should be followed to ensure effective management of the mentoring relationship during stage two: let the mentee drive the relationship, ensure program awareness, help the mentee build a network, and keep written records.

Guidelines and appropriate actions to effective management of the mentoring relationship

Help Mentee Build Network

  • Provide assistance to the mentee in building up a network of contacts

  • If you don't have the knowledge or experience to support the mentee, make your own network of contacts available

  • After each mentoring session, make a written note of the main issues and actions dealt with during that session

  • Maintain a record of agreed agendas for later review.

  • Note any issues that haven't been addressed but might be appropriate for future discussion

  • Click here for an example of form

Let Mentee Drive the Conversation

  • Listen, encourage, and be positive, but never try to dictate what the mentee does 

  • Allow the mentee to define the agenda, which means deciding the tasks and issues to be addressed within the relationship

  • Give opinion and feedback, but don't get directly involved in the mentee's projects

Ensure Program Awareness

  • Disclose the nature and purpose of the mentoring relationship to other employees.

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