Definition: A mentor is typically an individual high up in the organization who is not the immediate supervisor, his/her goals are to support and guide the mentee’s personal growth and long-term personal career development, to advise the mentee about the things that the mentee should and shouldn’t do, and to develop the mentee’s self-esteem and work identity.  



·         Find a mentor higher up in the organization who can help you learn to influence those with more authority than you. Mentors may have insights about norms or general techniques, suggest tactics specific to certain individuals you will encounter, or connect you to networks that would otherwise be closed to you.

·         The role of a mentor is to listen and be supportive, provide non-judgmental support, provide guidance on issues raised, clarify goals of mentee, and to pass on knowledge and experience.

·         The four key factors to successful mentoring relationships are to 1) develop a relationship of trust, 2) define roles and responsibilities, 3) establish short and long term goals, and 4) collaborate to solve problems.


A mentor is “…someone who helps someone else learn something that he or she would have learned less well, more slowly, or not at all if left alone.” – Chip Bell, Author and Founder of The Chip Bell Group


Self-Directed Learning Activities


Relevant Readings:

·         Institutionalizing Mentoring Into Police Departments (Sprafka & Kranda) – (LINK PDF)

·         Putting Experience to Work: The Value of a Formal Mentoring Program

·         The Mentoring Relationship Cycle (LINK PDF)

·         Mentoring Guide: A Guide for Mentors (LINK PDF)

·         Mentoring Guide: A Guide for Protégés (LINK PDF)



·         Allen, T. D., & Eby, L. T. (Eds.). (2011). The Blackwell handbook of mentoring: A multiple perspectives approach. John Wiley & Sons.

·         Bell, C. R., & Goldsmith, M. (2013). Managers as mentors: Building partnerships for learning. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

·         Peddy, S. (1998). The art of mentoring: Lead, follow and get out of the way. Learning Connections.

·         Phillips-Jones, L. (2003). 75 Things to Do with Your Mentees: Practical and Effective Development Ideas You Can Try. CCC/The Mentoring Group.



·         Institutionalizing Mentoring into Police Departments:

·         Nine best practices for developing a mentoring program (LINK PPT)

·         Mentoring PPT (LINK)


Guided-Learning Activities



·         Be a mentor to another individual (e.g., bring an employee along with you when you call on customers, allow an employee to shadow you during the work day, invite an employee to sit in on an off-site management meeting).

·         If possible, ask someone you identify as a mentor to engage in these activities with you:

o   Invite mentee to one of Mentor's key meetings. Debrief with mentee afterward. 

o   Share career stories. Career start, changes made along the way, high and low points. What experiences were helpful?

o   Discuss a role model that has been influential in each of your lives. How has s/he impacted your decisions or beliefs?

o   Discuss mentee's personal vision: What would he/she like to be remembered for over the next few years?

o   Talk about topics not pertaining to work: news and events, family history, hobbies, movie.

o   Discuss mentee’s strengths and how to enhance their growth. (Mentee should find information from their own observations, comments in performance reviews, informal feedback from supervisors or coworkers (by e-mail, for example), educational grades). What do people say you do best? Mentor can add his/her observations.

o   Conduct informal networking by introducing mentee to at least two people who could prove helpful to their careers. Before, provide tips on issues to address or avoid, and review afterwards.

o   Communicate about what you have appreciated about your mentoring relationship with one another and thus far. This type of "check-in" can only be done in a note or e-mail.


Formal Training/Education


School and Course Module(s):

·         Laramie County Community College

o   CO/M 1030 INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION Students develop skills in interpersonal communication by examining topics such as perception, identity, listening, nonverbal communication, relationship development, conflict management and diversity. Prerequisite: Completion of ENGL 0810 or equivalent placement test score.

·         Northwest College

o   CO/M 2015 - Leadership Skills (1-3) This course is designed to educate specified groups in effective leadership skills. Includes discussion and practice in teamwork, communication, critical thinking and problem solving, planning, conflict management, and social responsibility. Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor. (.5 hr lec, 1 hr lab)

o   MGT 1000 - Introduction to Supervision (3) Students acquire knowledge and skills used in supervision, organization, time management, decision-making, and information management. Students work with practical applications that reinforce the theory. Through comprehensive cases and illustrations, students examine the interrelationship of key supervisory management principles. (3 hrs lec)

·         Western Wyoming Community College

o   COMM 1070 EFFECTIVE LISTENING- Listening is the process of hearing, attending to, interpreting, remembering, and responding to spoken messages. This course will explore listening theories and research, the listening process, listening challenges, various listening contexts; and essential listening skills.