Eight Roles of A Mentor


As a mentor, you will make an impact on your mentee in promoting his/her critical thinking and problem solving. The LeadUP program coordinator will plan and implement a series of recognition activities to recognize extraordinary mentors.  Outstanding mentors will also have the opportunity to train participants for subsequent programs.

What are the key roles you are expected to play in the mentoring process? You may play eight important roles in the mentoring relationship:

Reflective Thinking Partner

You engage your mentee in reflective thinking by probing assumptions, hypothesizing about outcomes, challenging, serving as a sounding board, and providing different perspectives. This role can be especially helpful to your mentee as he/she reviews his/her mental models and understanding of the world.

Feedback Provider

In this role, you give honest feedback about the mentee’s actions. By citing specific examples and raising awareness in a tangible, focused manner, you help your mentee wrestle with resolving skill deficiencies or developing strengths currently underutilized.

Feedback Interpreter

You help your mentee work through on-the-job challenges, interpersonal issues, and blocks in learning. you can support your mentee in strategies to remove barriers to favorable outcomes.

Dialogue Partner

Your mentee sometimes expects you to have the answers—to tell him/her what to do, especially if he/she is struggling with a particularly difficult challenge. As a dialogue partner, you place the burden of learning and change on the mentee.

Practice Partner

In this role, you frequently serve as a way of enabling your mentee to role-play interactions or scenarios from different angles.

Accountability Partner

You hold your mentee responsible for his/her plans and actions. In this role, you also recognize the evolutionary nature of organizational life and provide some flexibility to help your mentee respond to the pace of change inherent in contemporary organizations.

Positive Reinforcer

You provide affirmation, praise, and encouragement as your mentee applies the learning to the job. Look for positive outcomes to celebrate together. You use this role to express confidence in your mentee, modeling the behavior changes asked of the mentee.

Role Model

By virtue of your ongoing modeling of listening skills, openness, and willingness to engage in the learning process, your mentee learns to mentor others in the organization. Your example throughout the relationship will influence your mentee’s efforts to improve interactions with others.