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Training Summary Mentoring is an opportunity to help a person grow through discovery. This session will address various mentoring models and ways to be a mentor to Scouts and Scouters.
Time Required 60 minutes
Target Audience
  • All Scouters
Learning Objectives At the end of this lesson, participants will have knowledge of

  • The difference between coaching and mentoring
  • The mentoring models of sponsorship and development
  • What is involved in maintaining a quality mentoring relationship
  • The evolution of a mentoring relations
  • The elements of a learning conversation
  • The benefits of mentoring

and they will be able to

  • Select the appropriate mentoring model for the situations they come across
  • Maintain a quality mentoring relationship
  • Conduct learning conversations
Training Format Lecture and discussion.
Required Materials
  • Power point slides
  • Projection screen or other surface
  • Laptop computer
  • LCD projector
  • Flip chart or white board
  • Markers
Handouts PowerPoint slides, notes version printed three per page.

Self-Introductions (Slide 1)

Presenter introduces himself and asks all participants to give their name and volunteer position.

What Is a Mentor? (Slide 2)

Ask: “What is a mentor?” List those characteristics as they are given without judgment.

Afterwards, state: In the Homer’s story “The Odyssey,” when Odysseus left for the Trojan War, he entrusted Mentor with the guidance and education of his son, Telemachus. The name of Odysseus’ friend is Mentor.

The first recorded modern usage of the term can be traced to a book entitled “Les Aventures de Telemaque,” by the French writer François Fénelon. In the book, the lead character’s name is Mentor.

The word “mentor” comes from the Greek language and has its roots in the terms “steadfast” and “enduring.” In Western thought, the term “mentor” is synonymous with one who is a wise teacher, a guide, a friend.

Re-emphasize: A mentor is

  • A wise teacher
  • A guide
  • A friend

Is Mentoring Like Coaching?

Ask: “Is mentoring and coaching the same thing?”

One description states that coaching is the process of facilitating the performance, learning, and development of another person. The coach is responsible for directing and aligning the members of a team to achieve a goal; therefore, the coach is also responsible for leading the development of the team members.

Coaching is different from mentoring because the mentoring process is led by the learner and is less skills-based. A good mentoring relationship is identified by the willingness and capability of both parties to ask questions, challenge assumptions, and disagree. The mentor is far less likely to have a direct-line relationship with the mentee, and in a mentoring relationship this distance is desirable. Mentoring is rarely a critical part of an individual’s role, but rather an extra element that rewards the mentor with fresh thinking as well as the opportunity to transfer knowledge and experience (wisdom) to a new generation.

Show Slide 3.

Some key differences between coaching and mentoring are:

Coaching Mentoring
Goals To correct inappropriate behavior, improve performance, and impart skills as an individual accepts a new responsibility To support and guide the personal growth of the mentee
Initiative The coach directs the learning and instruction. The mentee is in charge of his or her learning.
Focus Immediate problems and learning opportunities Long-term personal development
Roles Heavy on telling with appropriate feedback Heavy on listening, providing a role model, and making suggestions and connections

Two Types of Mentoring

The rest of this session is based on Mentoring in Action: A Practical Guide.

There are two different models of mentoring, one is called sponsorship and the other is called developmental.

Sponsorship mentoring is a relationship between a mentor and a protege, whereas developmental mentoring is less hierarchal and helps the growth of both the mentor and the mentee.

Show Slides 4-7 and review both models.

Ask the participants to identify situations in which one model is more appropriate than the other. Examples include:

  • Scoutmaster to an assistant Scoutmaster—sponsorship
  • Scoutmaster to senior patrol leader—developmental
  • Senior patrol leader to assistant senior patrol leader—sponsorship
  • Patrol leader to Scout—developmental
  • Cubmaster to den leader—developmental
  • Chartered organizational representative to committee chair—developmental
  • District executive to district committee member—developmental
  • Unit commissioner to crew Advisor—developmental

The Shape of a Mentoring Relationship

The nature of the mentoring relationship is dynamic, in the sense that it:

  • Will be different according to the circumstances, purpose, and personalities involved
  • Wvolves over time
  • May take and adjust its shape along a spectrum defined by two very different philosophies or models of mentoring

Maintaining Relationship Quality

With the mentoring relationship being dynamic and therefore creating a great deal of variation in how individuals approach their roles; however, there are certain factors that will effect the quality of the relationship.

Show Slide 8.

  • Goal clarity—There needs to be a sense of purpose to the relationship.
  • The ability to create and manage rapport—It is important that there is an alignment of core values between the mentor and mentee, both in terms of initial attraction or liking and in sustaining the relationship over time. However, partnering individuals with too many similarities can cause problems. The rapport-building process encompasses the skills of accepting and valuing difference as a fundamental learning resource.
  • Understanding of the role and its boundaries—Clarity must be maintained that the mentor will not assume a directive or managerial role.
  • Voluntarism—Both participants have to want to be part of the relationship.
  • Basic competencies on the part of the mentor and mentee—Both parties must bring some skills and attributes to the table. The aim should be to improve these skills over time through the learning dialogue.
  • Proactive behaviors by mentee and developmental behaviors by the mentor—The mentee needs to take the initiative and the mentor must not be directive.
  • Measurement and review—The mentor and mentee need to take time to review the relationship. Having a regular open dialog that focuses on how to improve the relationship is a key factor. Assess how to make the relationship more valuable and reaffirm the commitment.

Evolution of Relationship

There should be five distinct phases in maintaining a quality mentoring relationship. This chart shows the relationship of the intensity of learning and value added from a mentoring relationship over time.

Show Slide 9.

The five phases are:

Phase 1: Building rapport
The mentor and the mentee are exploring if they can work together. They are determining the alignment of values, establishing a mutual respect, agreeing on the purpose of their relationship, and establishing the roles and expectations.
Phase 2: Setting direction
This phase is all about goal setting. Whereas in phase 1, they were establishing a sense of purpose, here they are determining what each of them should achieve through this relationship.
Phase 3: Progression
This phase is longest of the five. Here the both the mentor and mentee become more comfortable about challenging each other’s perceptions, and they explore issues more deeply and experience mutual learning. Also, the mentee takes an increasing lead in managing the relationship and the mentoring process itself.
Phase 4: Winding up
This occurs when the mentee has achieved a large amount of his or her goals. The mentee begins to plan how to continue the journey on his or her own. This helps avoid unhealthy dependency on either individual’s part. Winding up by celebrating the accomplishments is much better than winding down/drifting apart.
Phase 5: Moving on
This is about changing the relationship, often into a friendship where both parties can utilize each other as an ad hoc sounding board.

Allow for questions and discussion.

The Learning Conversation

The point of the mentoring process is to create a reflective environment where the mentee can address various issues.

Show Slide 10.

To do this, a learning conversation should be used that uses the following steps:

  • Reaffirmation—The mentor and mentee spend time to reestablish connectedness using more than just the normal social niceties. In a good relationship, there will be a mutual recognition of emotional states and the level of interest.
  • Identifying the issue—This is when the issue to be discussed is articulated as well as the mentee’s desired outcome is identified.
  • Building mutual understanding—The mentor encourages the mentee to explore the issue in depth, by asking questions that stimulate insight. The purpose of the questions is for both of them to understand the situation and all of the elements involved more clearly. The mentor wants to avoid offering solutions or analogies to his or her own experience. When the conversation comes to a natural end, the mentor should summarize and check to see if a mutual understanding has been achieved.
  • Exploring alternative solutions—This is when both the mentor and mentee allow themselves to be as creative as possible, looking for ways to move forward. The goal is to build a range of solutions from which the mentee will eventually choose to take away for reflection.
  • Final check—The mentor encourages the mentee to review what he or she is going to do and why, and what the mentee has learned about both the situation in question and themselves. This allows for a mutual understating and places the responsibility for what happens next on the mentee.

Between sessions, the mentee should be reflecting on what has been discussed so that they can see what they have learned relates to other issues.

The mentor should also reflect upon his or her role in the relationship so that the relationship’s progress can be measured.

Benefits of Mentoring

Rhetorically ask, “Why should you go through all of this trouble?”

Show Slide 11, review and discuss.


Ask for questions.

We started by emphasizing that a mentor is

  • A wise teacher
  • A guide
  • A friend

By selecting the correct mentoring model as the situation dictates, by focusing to create a quality mentoring relationship, and by using the elements of a learning conversation, you should realize the benefits of mentoring.

Show Slide 12.

Thank you for attending this session and I wish you well on implementing these methods in your Scouting endeavors.

Additional Resources

  • “Mentor.” In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved November 7, 2006, from
  • Virginia Office of Volunteerism. Volunteer Mentor Programs: An Introductory Guide. 1995.
  • Predaptive. “Coaching and mentoring are critical in today’s flat meritocratic organisations.” Retrieved July 19, 2006, from (2006).
  • Luecke, R. Coaching and Mentoring: How to Develop Top Talent and Achieve Stronger Performance. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation, 2004.
  • Megginson, D., Clutterbuck, D., Garvey, B., Stokes, P., and Garrett-Harris, R. Mentoring In Action: A Practical Guide (2nd ed.). Kogan Page, 2006.