Mentoring is a one of those terms that is tossed around on a regular basis to such a degree that the true definition is often overlooked. As a result, when the true definition of anything is not articulated enough, then the perception of it changes or is misunderstood. In the case of Mentoring, which is a developmental process, the substance of the term or process becomes whatever anyone wants it to be. In my view, when that happens, the result is that no one really has to commit and you might as well do something else that might add more value to the organization.
Mentoring, in its simplest form, refers to a developmental relationship in which a more experienced person helps a less experienced person. Most organizations have a difficult time getting their heads and resources around this concept because they don’t understand how to integrate the process into two areas that are crucial for sustainability; Training & Development and Succession Planning.
Truth be told, for an organization to fully realize the potential of its workforce and, more specifically, to identify and develop the potential of key individuals that have the ability to do more in the future, an understanding of the true substance of Mentoring is critical.