Types of Mentoring

Mentoring can provide benefits to Indigenous employees, these may include contributing to breaking down the barriers between Aboriginal employees, their employers and work colleagues and addressing cross-cultural communication issues. There are a range of different mentoring styles or types that organisations may use to improve workplace performance or simply to support employees. The most often used mentoring approaches are outlined as follows.

Informal Mentoring
Informal mentoring is where two people form a mentoring relationship without facilitation by a third party and without the signing of formal agreements. This form of mentoring is informal and unstructured and often begins spontaneously between colleagues or friends and then evolves into a mentoring relationship over time. This approach to mentoring is voluntary and develops without the benefit of proper mentoring training programs or organisational support structures.

Formal Mentoring
The most typical and popular approach to mentoring is a formal arrangement that creates a one-to-one relationship between the mentor and mentee and is facilitated by a third party. This form of mentoring nearly always includes a formal agreement between the mentor and the mentee (mentoring agreements). The agreement sets out the details of the mentoring process and specifies the expectations or objectives of the relationship.

Small Group Mentoring
Mentoring in small groups may be effective in some situations. Usually small group mentoring occurs within the same organisation so there is a common interest or goal between mentees and the mentor.

E-mentoring uses email as the primary communication method between mentors and mentees. While e-mentoring can limit the depth of the relationship shared between the mentor and mentee, it also offers advantages in terms of time commitment and flexibility.

Professional Mentoring Services
Professional mentors have substantial personal experience in the industry in which they are mentoring and use a combination of coaching and mentoring to achieve high levels of results with their clients.