Leaders in your organization can play different roles when it comes to people management. Sometimes, a leader needs to be a coach. Sometimes, a leader needs to be a mentor. In most cases, both come in handy as an intervention and an empowering tool for managing people.

Coaching and mentoring are two sides of the same coin – it is important for leaders to be able to recognize which specific skill set is needed for the situation they encounter. The main difference between the two is that mentoring requires the leader to be the subject expert. In mentoring, there is passing on of expertise. Coaching, on another hand, does not require the leader to be the subject expert, but instead a process expert who allows the transformation by letting their coaches discover their own paths towards the achievement of the goal the goals they have set for themselves

We will be talking more about coaching in another post but for today, let us talk about mentoring and how it is important in people development.

The mentor plays many different roles, and each role is critical towards the achievement of professional goals of the mentee.


Mentors uncover the potential of their mentees and starts a fire within them to break out of their comfort zone and push for more. They are enablers, helping their mentees to set goals and devise a plan towards the achievement of those goals.


Mentors pass on their expertise to their mentees in many ways. In most, if not all cases, mentors are in the position where they are working with less experienced individuals in their field of expertise. Mentors employ many ways on how they can convey the lessons they are teaching to their mentees; they share their expertise and experience, provide insights and instructions on how to approach a specific problem, teach technical skills, and so on.


Mentors model the way of how things can be done but also encourage their mentees to come up with their own ideas and solutions to challenges at hand. Mentors should exemplify the values of your organization and pass on this same accountability and responsibility to their mentees.


Mentors create connection and rapport towards their mentees. They are their mentee’s ally, helping the latter achieve personal and professional goals they have set for themselves. They provide tough love when needed, and “hold hands” when the situation requires it.

The skills of the leader becoming a mentor may not come easily for others. That is why it is important that your leaders be trained on how they can become effective mentors. Many companies who have had mentoring programs achieve great success when it comes to succession planning and overall organizational development. However, the success of any mentorship program relies on the readiness of your leaders. Are they equipped with the right skills to train your high potentials? Are they ready and comfortable to pass on their knowledge?

Benchmark Consulting has various programs that address these organizational needs. With our own trademarked systems, we have helped many companies over the last two decades achieve organizational growth through our different leadership programs. If this is something you are looking for, message us today at info@benchmark-consulting.net and we’d love to have a chat on how we can bring your organization to greater heights.