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Effective Mentoring

Types of Mentoring Relationships

In today’s quickly changing business environment, there is renewed interest in the traditional practice of mentoring. Organizations are using mentoring relationships to provide continuity. And new types of mentoring relationships are springing up to meet new needs.

Charting the best course isn’t easy in this environment of rapid change. Organizations are becoming flatter, with fewer rungs in the corporate ladder. Some are far-flung, with offices located around the world. Career paths are changing too. Some people work from home.

Others enter fields requiring highly specialized skills. These rapid-fire changes in organizations and careers sometimes determine what type of mentoring relationship will work in a given situation. But there are other factors to consider as well.

Of the four types of mentoring relationships, there are those that are initiated in different ways formal or informal one-to-one or one-to-group on site or long distance

Initiating a mentoring relationship

Some organizations match up mentors and proteges, perhaps to induct new employees or encourage internal promotions. Sometimes a manager volunteers to mentor a promising young recruit. And in some cases, an inexperienced employee approaches a veteran worker to ask for guidance.

All are appropriate ways to begin the mentoring relationship, as long as both the mentor and protege have the right to say yes or no to the union.