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What is the role of a mentor?

Spurring thoughts of optimism, leadership and guidance, the word ‘mentor’ has always enjoyed positive connotations. But what exactly is the role of a mentor? And why are they so coveted in the cut throat world of corporate business? Here’s five roles a mentor takes on, and a brief commentary on what they involve.


Part role model, part educator, mentors demonstrate good practice through their actions. As well as setting an example, mentors actively provide candidates with information that will help them build and improve their skills. Finally, the mentor must make an effort to understand what the mentoree hopes to achieve from the relationship.


As a candidate’s right hand ally, mentors play an active role in opening new doors. This involves issuing referrals, promoting talents and helping them build a glowing reputation. Audibly, the more a candidate improves, the more confident mentors will be in recommendations.


Mentors are on-hand to offer counselling through the good and the bad. This includes listening to the mentoree, and helping them work through any issues they may be encountering. As experienced entities, mentors should also be available to advise on courses of action, and help pinpoint paths to success.


At every step, a mentor encourages, inspires and does everything they can to help candidates achieve their goals. As well as offering moral support, this can sometimes include acting as the devil’s advocate. By constructively challenging assumptions mentors can help candidates refine their analytical thinking skills.


More than a detached business relationship, mentors should get to know candidates on a subjective level. By developing a more personal relationship mentors will be able to identify courses of action that complement an individual’s character. Insight will allow them to build on weaknesses, and capitalise on strengths.

Mentoring is an incredibly valuable skill to possess, with employers always on the search for candidates with the proven ability to counsel, guide, teach and more. To elevate your mentoring skills to the next level, our CMI Level 7 Coaching and Mentoring Course is an industry leading choice. Designed for managers at strategic level, it works on developing a deep understanding of coaching and mentoring policies, as well as how to manage organisational culture and change within an organisation. As a graduate, you’ll gain a complex appreciation for the multifaceted role of a mentor, and the marked impact they can have on performance.

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