The Skills of Mentoring

Everything you need to begin to mentor other people with confidence.


There seems to be a good deal of confusion about the differences between mentoring and coaching.  The coach is typically someone in the same reporting line as the coachee who, through skilful use of structured questions and other techniques, helps the coachee to develop new skills or behaviours, solve problems and make decisions. 

The mentor is usually an experienced person outside the mentee's reporting line, who uses a number of different techniques to develop the mentee; those skills include direct advice-giving, something which the coach does not generally do. Coaching may be a subset of mentoring, but mentoring cannot be a subset of coaching.

In this intensive, practical and highly interactive one-day programme, you'll learn the skills of mentoring – everything you need to begin to mentor other people with confidence.  We'll use a variety of techniques, including freeze-frame role play and realistic case studies, to bring the techniques to life.

What you'll learn

What is mentoring?

  • Origins
  • When it is used
  • Who instigates it
  • The 8Cs of mentoring (high level): Coach, Counsellor, Confidant, Conduit, Critical friend, Challenger, Career advisor, Corporate role model

The Mentoring Relationship

  • Setting the scope
  • Setting the boundaries
  • Establishing the mentoring ‘contract'
  • Expectations of the mentoring relationship      
    • from the mentor's perspective             
    • from the mentee's perspective

Finding your own style of mentoring

The 8Cs of mentoring (detail)


  • Coaching in the context of mentoring


  • What's counselling?
  • The Egan model
  • Counselling in practice (freeze frame practice session)


  • Working in confidence
  • The confidant in practice (dealing with confidential issues)


  • Using your network to expand the mentee's network
  • Balancing being a conduit and confidant

Critical friend

  • Giving constructive feedback
  • A model for feedback


  • Stimulating the mentee's thinking through challenge
  • Practice session

Career Advisor

  • Understanding the professional options open to the mentee
  • Advising the mentee on possible career options and career development

Corporate Role Model

  • Being the person the mentee should aspire to be

Putting it all together

  • Case study: practice session

Who is it for?

Anyone who has been assigned the role of a mentor, anyone planning to establish a mentoring programme and anyone wanting to develop additional management and leadership skills.

Your facilitator

david cotton
David Cotton

David has worked in training and development for over 20 years, working in four continents and nearly 40 countries.  His work ranges from one to one coaching to managing multinational training programmes and his clients range from small family businesses to the European Commission, United Nations and Middle Eastern petrochemical companies. He is the author of around a dozen books and many journal articles. He is also a qualified and practising hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner. He spent 21 years with the major professional services firms, Arthur Andersen and PricewaterhouseCoopers, before becoming an independent trainer, coach, facilitator and speaker in 2002.

A former professional musician, David still occasionally performs and he collects instruments from around the world on his travels. He is the author of several books including 'Managing Difficult People At Work' and 'The Business Strategy Toolkit'.

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The Skills of Mentoring

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