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Mentoring is a relationship between people with different levels of experience. Its main goal is to enable learning and growth. In contrast to a teacher a mentor works with one person or a small group and thus can give individual support. The more experienced mentor guides the mentee for a certain duration of time.

In newspapers we sometimes read about political mentors. These are influential people who foster ambitious young politicians' careers. This informal style of mentorship represents a traditional model. Today there are numerous programs that organize the mentor-mentee relationship in a more focused way. Companies, institutions, universities, schools, and social work organizations all use mentorships. An essential part of mentoring is the ability to enable learning and growth, often understood as non-formal, practical learning. Mentoring is similar approach to coaching.

It is a good idea for you to find a mentor, whether it is organized through a mentoring program or an informal agreement. You gain access to another person's experience. This person can help you to reflect on how your work is seen by others and has access to a network that can be supportive for you as well.

Mentoring represents an informal relationship between two people: 
an (often older) mentor who supports a (less experienced) mentee by 
sharing his or her own personal experience and expertise, motivating and 
encouraging, advising and coaching.

Why mentoring?



  • Nils-Eyk Zimmermann: Mentoring Handbook - Providing Systemic Support for Mentees and Their Projects MitOst Editionen, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-944012-00-1. Online
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