Business Mentoring types and styles

Business mentor style challenger

There is much written about business mentoring types and styles, so here is my quick and easy to read bullet point list of business mentoring types and styles.

There are three core types of business mentoring detailed below, and your mentor will help you choose which type is right for you.

1. One to one business mentoring

The traditional style of mentoring, where the mentee and mentor are matched, either through a program or on their own. Mentee-mentor partners participate in a mentoring relationship with the structure and timeframe of their mutual agreement or as established by a formal mentoring program such as a Government-funded scheme like the New Enterprise Allowance or from a Local Economic Partnership.

2. Distance business mentoring

A mentoring relationship in which the two parties (or group) are in different locations. Sometimes called “virtual” or “digital” based business mentoring. NOTE: Not to be confused with Peer to Peer mentoring.

3. Group mentoring

A single mentor is matched with a cohort of mentees. The initial program structure is provided while allowing the business mentor to direct progress, pace and activities. Although less private is still very effective, and now often delivered ‘digitally’ or ‘virtual’.

Business mentoring styles

There are different types of business mentoring styles. These mentor styles vary to cater for different personality types and learning styles, after all, each of us is an individual.

Also, different mentoring styles help with unique skills that mentees want to learn. These types of styles help bring out the best in mentees, while also providing mentors with different ways to reach out to others and really make an impact.

Each business mentor will have their own style and will mix and match the five mentoring styles as and when needed.

The five types of mentoring styles are:

1. The Challenger

Business mentor style challenger

This type of mentor pushes a mentee, asks the hard questions, plays the devil’s advocate, and makes sure the mentee is really focused on their end goal.

The challenger will also make sure to focus on the details, so the mentee will realise the importance of their particular goal.

Challengers are fewer friends and more drill sergeants of the mentor community. They are supportive but more firm than the rest of the mentoring styles.

2. The Cheerleader

Business mentoring styles - the cheerleader

This type of mentoring is meant to cheer on a mentee, through staying positive and noticing all the growth and change a mentee is making.

If a mentee makes a mistake, the cheerleader focuses on how the mistake will help the mentee grow.

There is no negativity, and no pushing, just subtle and positive ideas.

3. The Educator

Business mentor style - the educator

This mentoring style is meant to teach mentees. A background in education or training would be key for this type of mentoring.

The educator will take the time to create and execute training to help a mentee learn and develop.

This style is positive but still pushes a mentee to excel. Educators will also study the mentee, understand where their skills are lacking, and where they need to educate the mentee differently to help fix those deficiencies.

4. The Ideator

Business mentoring styles - the ideator

The ideator, or idea maker, is a mentor that helps the mentee brainstorm and think bigger than perhaps they do typically.

This mentoring style focuses on thinking, planning, and dreaming. They will push a mentee that has little to no ambition and encourage them to value their skills and selves more. This will push them to strive to accomplish even larger tasks.

5. The Networker

Business Mentoring Styles - The Networker

The connector, or networker, helps mentees network socially, online, and in person.

They will connect their mentee with people they know – with personal recommendations – who can help the mentee with their specific goals.

They also help the mentee learn how to network themselves, so they know what events to attend or places to go to really get to know the right people, by suggesting the platforms that suit the individual mentee.

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