The Four Types of Mentors


Matching hats and outfits not required

Our People Coaching team believes that no one mentor size fits all.   We all need different types of mentors to help us through our careers.    We’ve divided our mentors into four categories:

1. A Sounding Board :  This is someone at a similar level to you in a different department. This type of mentor can help keep groups from becoming too siloed.

2. A Coach:   Sometimes a mentor is present to help you get past something holding you back, maybe it’s your presentation skills, organization, meeting facilitation. A coach will get you focused.

3. A Sponsor:   This is typically a senior level mentor to help get you into your next role.   They are there to advocate for you among the senior leadership team.

4. A Guide:   This is for a high performer who is very focused on their current role and might need some understanding about what’s next in their career.   A guide is typically someone more tenured who can give some ideas about new opportunities.

When our team meets to talk about mentoring, we often ask ourselves one question to guide us in the type of mentor a Fool might need:

Is this Fool achieving all they can right now?

And we have 3 categories of answers:

A:  Yes, they are on the right path.  (We pair them with a sounding board to broaden horizons)

B:  No, they are holding themselves back. (We pair them with a coach)

C:  No, and we need to provide them with a better opportunity to shine. (We pair them with a sponsor or guide) What other types of mentors have you had in your career?

About Kara Chambers

Fool Talent Scout/VP People Strategy at The Motley Fool

One Response to “The Four Types of Mentors”

  1. me, a coach. sometimes a guide. Depending on the situation that I face.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 139 other followers

%d bloggers like this: