Learning Consultant: The mentor must help the learner to clarify his goals and identify the learning style needed.
Coach: The mentor should have the will to help the learner explore the problem and try new ways of working.
Counselor: When the learner is struggling to think, the mentor could listen, reflect, and clarify to help the learner gain insight.
Adviser or Information Resource: Share insights with the learner for faster and better understanding.
Role Model: Sometimes, the learner does not only learn from what the mentor teaches, but from how the mentor acts.
Critical Friend: The mentor can also simply be a friend, however, it is the most difficult because it requires the willingness to listen, encourage, draw out, reflect, challenge, and provide feedback about ideas.
Serving as a mentor brings many challenges and rewards, with the best mentors working to shape their mentees into other leaders, rather than just good followers. If done well, the long-term impact of mentoring can offer life- and career-changing benefits to both parties. The terms mentoring and coaching often get used interchangeably, which misleads the audience.
Working with a mentor can be an invaluable experience for both parties. The mentor and mentee will likely learn new things about themselves and each other that will help them move toward career goals. But to make the relationship work, each party needs to understand the role they play.