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Mentoring is a powerful tool to utilize when leading teams. It can enhance your teams satisfaction and careers, help with skill building and professional growth, promote commitment, and help transfer organizational knowledge that is ever important in a world where the organizational knowledge is retiring. There are 4 types of mentors you can use to help create a stronger team.


The traditional mentor is all knowing. They have been at the company and can answer any question about processes or tools the mentee may have.

Peer or Lateral

A peer or lateral mentor is one that is at the same level. This can promote reciprocity as both parties can share information and grow together.

Step Ahead

A step ahead mentor is someone who is a little further along in the company. They can be used to build trust and help with processes and workflows that may vary from team to team. This also helps empower a newer employee by supporting a colleague.

One Hierarchical Level Above.

This is a person who is not a senior leader, but is in a position that can offer a more mature perspective that that of one who is a step ahead. This person is one who has been with the company for a while and has a lot of institutional knowledge.


Cowan, S. L. (2009). Mentoring. In R. Watkins & D. Leigh (Eds.), Handbook of improving performance in the workplace. Volume 2: Selecting and implementing performance interventions (pp. 613-645). International Society for Performance Improvement/Pfeiffer.


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