Approaches to mentoring varies from organization to organization, and according to individual method of working. A person can have a formal mentoring style where the mentee needs to have a scheduled appointment, or the mentoring style could be informal where the mentee can basically drop in on the mentor any time and pop in a query. Medical institutions rely on these “drop-in-anytime” methods of mentoring, where quick information-collecting and decision-making is crucial.
Another kind of informal mentoring is where the mentee has personally identified a role model for himself, and has requested his role-model to provide him career mentoring, to which the other person has agreed to. This type of mentor-mentee relationship is also known as private mentoring, as people won’t know about this arrangement.
This is different from the formal mentoring where certain senior people are assigned some new employees, whom they are to guide and mentor. This kind of mentoring relationship is called public mentoring.
Depending on the style of mentoring, these mentors may encourage an “open discussion relationship” (where the mentees are given permission discuss any topic) or a “restricted discussion relationship” (where the mentees are restricted to discussing only specific topics).
Open discussion relationships can be observed in the fields of psychology and medicine. Restricted discussion relationships, on the other hand, can be observed in the army, and in jobs involving surveillance/espionage.
Of the numerous benefits that a mentee gets from the mentoring he receives from a successful senior employee, the ones that directly impact his career growth are −