Business Mentoring Matters

Types of Mentoring Models: Group Mentoring

Posted on Thu, Aug, 22, 2013

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Part 3 in our blog post series: Types of Mentoring Models.

We’re firm believers that every organization can benefit from corporate mentoring. But we don’t believe that one mentoring model fits all. While some organizations will benefit from a traditional one-to-one program, others will find that self-directed works best. Still others might use a combination approach, perhaps group mentoring for one department and peer-to-peer mentoring for another. The goal is to have the people in your organization thrive and benefit from their involvement in your program, whatever the model looks like. 

We understand that choosing the right model is one of the biggest challenges facing people who are designing and implementing mentoring programs. In this blog post series, we’re describing the different types of models, the pros and cons of each, and the types of organizations that we’ve seen thrive under them

Whatever model you choose, here's something to keep in mind: as businesses grow and evolve, so do their mentoring programs. What might have worked for your organization twenty years ago might not work today, at least not “as is.” The beauty of many of these models is that they can work in tandem with one another. 

group mentoringGroup Mentoring

What is Group Mentoring? Group mentoring requires a mentor to work with 4-6 mentorees at one time. The group meets 1x or 2x a month to discuss various topics. Combining senior and peer mentoring, the mentor as well as the peers help one another learn and develop appropriate skills/knowledge. 

What are the Pros of Group Mentoring? Group mentoring Works well for organizations with a limited number of mentors. Mentorees can gain insight from not only the mentor, but also their fellow mentorees. 

What are the Cons of Group Mentoring? Group mentoring is limited by the difficulty of regularly scheduling several busy employees. It also lacks the personal relationship that most people prefer in mentoring. For this reason, organizations often combine it with the one-on-one model. In addition, the organization might offer a "Senior Seminar Series" that involves periodic meetings in which a senior executive meets with all the mentors and mentorees who then share their knowledge and expertise. 

Types of businesses that can benefit from Group Mentoring: This model works well for businesses that have limited mentors to satisfy a high mentoree demand. It's also a popular choice for diversity mentoring. We know that non-majority people tend to be less prominent the higher you go in the organization. So in order to provide non-majority mentorees with a similar model as themselves as mentors, you can create a group process that combines peer mentoring along with a senior mentor. Group mentoring is a less common model and it's usually used in tandem with another model. 

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