The relationship between the mentor and the mentee

Posted by Frank Vande Voorde


Mentor in the Greek Mythology was an old wise man, friend of Odysseus. He took care of the latter’s son by passing onto him his wisdom and advising him.

As you notice, mentoring is not new. This sort of assistance made its appearance in the business world as soon as management saw the benefits of mentorship for the company and the mentee.

It is a process whereby the mentor helps the mentee with her or his learning process. Normally the mentor is not his or her supervisor, it should be someone with an equivalent position or someone not directly involved with the person.

Mentorship in my opinion does not relate to age, but to experience and maturity.

I believe that if you are not assigned a mentor, it is a good experience and very useful, to find yourself a mentor. It will become a journey where both parties will learn, but as a mentee you will evolve and develop faster.

What can you expect from your mentor?

If your mentor is part of the same company (this is very often the case) he or she will introduce you to the people, the written and non-written procedures of the organisation. The mentor should share his or her knowledge and experience. Depending on each other’s role, the mentor can share his/her network and relations.

When choosing a mentor look for someone you can trust! Someone who shall be honest and authentic, someone who does it for you and not for his personal benefit.

The skills you need to look for in your mentor are:

  • She/he should be good listener                                                                                                                  
  • Somebody who isn’t afraid to ask questions                                                                                                
  • Someone who is reliable, but more important : credible
  • An open minded person who does not avoid confrontation
  • A person who can set objectives and engage people to reach out for them

Your mentor should be someone with whom you can be yourself, ask all kinds of questions and with whom you can share doubts.

You can have more than one mentor or change mentor to reflect your evolution in your career. Different people will teach you different things.

Finally, remember that mentoring is a partnership. Do not avoid giving something in return!

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Frank Vande Voorde

About Frank Vande Voorde

I launched Rainbow Resources Group with the acquisition of Rainbow Careers (now "Rainbow Admin Careers"), a company with more than 30 years experience on the Belgian market. I subsequently created additional specialised divisions such as "Rainbow HR Careers", "Rainbow Flex Careers" and “Rainbow Coaching”.

I started my career in Auditing and later acquired Advisory and Marketing experience in one of the Big Four. Moving into the recruitment sector, I have accumulated more than 25 years experience as a Consultant, Manager and Managing Director in a number of small and large, national and international, specialised recruitment firms.

After graduating from Solvay Business School, I trained at INSEAD. I am also a certified Business & Executive Coach and certified Mediator.

Passionate about business, specialised in permanent and temporary recruitment in particular, I foster and live by values such as trust and fairness.

I believe in the strength of a smile and that a picture speaks a thousand words.

Contact Frank Vande Voorde

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