Business Mentoring Matters

What is Group Mentoring?

Posted on Wed, Jan, 04, 2012

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What is Group Mentoring? 

It is an association of individuals whose purpose is to promote the professional development of its members with the assistance of a Mentoring Group Leader. This group-oriented experience provides numerous kinds of mentoring assistance including information sharing, advice, social support, coaching, counseling and empowering individuals to greater competency. 

Differences Between 1-on-1 and Group Mentoring:

Group Mentoring is a system with its own rules and guidelines that make it unique to all other groups as well.

1-on-1 Mentoring

  • Focused on individual development 
  • Most personal 
  • Overall development focus 
  • Confidential and safe
  • Bi-directional 
  • Expertise from mentor to mentoree 
  • Senior mentoring 
  • Less demand on time 
  • Scheduling easier 
  • Personal dynamics 
  • Limited number of mentorees
  • No competition in relationship 
  • Networking limited
  • Individual projects

Group Mentoring

  • Focused on multiple development 
  • Less personal 
  • More coachable/topical
  • Confidential but with limitations
  • Multi-directional
  • Expertise from multiple directions
  • Peer and senior mentoring combined
  • Less demand on time More time demands
  • Scheduling a challenge
  • Group dynamics
  • Larger number of mentorees possible
  • Competition a factor in groups
  • Easier to network
  • Group projects

Advantages to Group Mentoring:

  • Support comes not only from the Mentoring Group Leader (MGL) but from peers within the group
  • Provides for greater exposure to multiple levels of expertise and knowledge as each participant brings their own competencies to the group that can be shared
  • Diversity within the group brings a diversity of perspective to issues as well as to a greater understanding and awareness of diversity in general as it relates to ethnicity, sex, etc.
  • Provides for a greater number of individuals to benefit from mentoring as opposed to the limitations of a 1-on-1 mentoring program
  • Group projects linked to group mentoring enhance the learning of participants and develop an understanding of how teams operate.
  • Requires less commitment of resources than formal 1-on-1 mentoring programs

Disadvantages to Group Mentoring:

  • Each member has different needs that must be balanced against the overall group needs
  • Does not offer the “personal” relationship that is the hallmark of a 1-on-1 mentoring relationship
  • Scheduling a large number of individuals to meet regularly can be a challenge
  • The element of confidentiality and safety may not be achieved to the level possible in a 1-on-1 relationship thus limiting the extent a member takes risks and learns
  • Competition within a group can disrupt the success of a mentoring group
  • Mentors need to understand and be comfortable with group dynamics and processes
If you are interested in learning more about the different types of business mentoring and comparing different models, be sure to download our free white paper below:
corporate mentoring

Tags: Mentoring Programs, Mentors & Mentorees, Talent Development and Retention