15 myths about mentoring debunked 

15 myths about mentoring debunked - Blog Image

Mentoring is one of the most powerful ways to learn, grow, and succeed both as a mentor and mentee. It’s a vehicle for people to share their knowledge and wisdom with those who want to learn from them. Unfortunately, many people are misinformed about mentoring—and it’s causing them not only to miss out on this incredible opportunity but also possibly hurting their own development in the process. In this blog post, we’ll debunk some of the myths surrounding mentoring so that you can get started on your own mentoring programme or mentoring journey.

1. The process of mentoring is time-consuming. 

It’s true that mentoring is a long-term process that requires commitment from both the mentor and mentee over time. It is crucial for mentors and mentees to dedicate time to this relationship, as it can be challenging to find success quickly if one does not spend enough time on the process. However, if you have the right skills and tools for success, then it’s possible to shorten your learning curve significantly and turn this journey into a mutually beneficial relationship.

2. Mentoring is only beneficial to the mentee 

In the second myth, we’re looking at mentoring being a one-way street. The idea here is that mentees learn from mentors, but it’s not quite as simple as that. Mentors are learning all the time—whether they realize it or not! The mentoring process helps mentors develop their leadership toolkit and become more self-aware. By learning to empathize with and connect with someone else in a unique way, mentors can gain valuable insights into themselves and their own leadership style—and they’ll be able to use those insights to better understand how they interact with others.

At its core, mentoring is about sharing knowledge in order to make each other better.

3. Mentoring ends once the goals are achieved 

During the course of your mentoring relationship, you’ll get to know your mentor or mentee better, and build rapport with them by sharing stories and exchanging ideas. You’ll also gain trust in each other as you work together toward your goals. But mentoring is about more than just goals. It’s about building a relationship with someone who can help you grow, and that relationship can continue for years to come, and last long after the mentee has achieved their goals.

After your mentoring programme ends, many mentors and mentees, particularly those who’ve gone through our mentoring programmes, tend to stay in touch with each other afterwards because they’ve formed such strong bonds.

4. A mentee should only have one mentor 

Having a mentor is not about getting advice on a single subject or topic. Mentoring is about having someone who supports your growth and development to become a better version of yourself. Do not limit yourself to just one mentor. Take advantage of the opportunity that mentoring provides when you have multiple mentors with different skill sets, backgrounds and experiences. This allows you to view challenges from different perspectives and enrich your outcomes.

5. All mentors have to be subject matter experts in your industry or sector 

Contrary to popular belief, mentors don’t have to be subject matter experts in your industry or sector. They can be anyone who can offer you some insight and guidance on a certain topic or issue.

Having a mentor isn’t limited to people in the same field as you— depending on your challenges and goals, your mentor could just as easily be someone from another branch of business entirely or even from another area of life. As long as they have core mentoring skills such as listening, questioning and feedback skills, and are willing to help you, it may not necessarily matter what their background is.

6. Mentoring is for people who aren’t successful 

If you aren’t where you want to be yet—that’s okay! In fact, it’s a great opportunity to reach out and get some help from a mentor. No matter where you are on your path to success, there’s always room for growth and improvement. Mentoring is for everyone. It’s for people who are already successful, and it’s for people who aren’t yet where they want to be.

7. Mentor & mentee matches/pairs should have similar experiences and journeys 

Mentors don’t need to have had similar experiences and journeys to their mentees.

A mentor will help you learn about yourself, your strengths, weaknesses, goals and aspirations. They do this by using mentoring skills such as powerful questioning, listening and giving feedback. A mentor that has had a different journey may help you explore avenues that you may have overlooked or assumed as a result of your experience.

They can also help you learn about your own resilience – the inner strength that helps us cope with setbacks and challenges in life. A mentor can help you find ways to build on this resilience so that you can be more successful in achieving your goals.

8. Mentoring is only for entrepreneurs, top executives and skilled workers 

One of the most common myths about mentoring is that it’s only for entrepreneurs, C-level and skilled workers. The truth is that anyone can benefit from mentoring.

Mentoring can be an invaluable tool for learning new skills, building confidence, and increasing self-awareness. If you’re looking to improve yourself as a person and gain valuable insight into your professional development, then consider getting yourself a mentor.

9. All successful businesspeople and managers make great mentors 

If you’ve been following us for a while, you know that not all successful businesspeople and managers make great mentors.

Great mentors possess mentoring skillsets that are not necessarily the same skills found in great managers and businesspeople. For example, a great manager may be extremely competent at delegating work and delegating tasks but may not be good at listening or providing feedback to their team members. On the other hand, a great mentor might be an excellent listener who can provide constructive feedback in a non-threatening manner to the mentee.

A mentor should be able to listen closely, give constructive feedback, ask questions that encourage critical thinking, and provide clarity about expectations.

10. Mentors must be older and more experienced than their mentees 

You’ve probably heard the phrase “the older, the wiser,” but that doesn’t mean that mentors have to be older than their mentees. In fact, sometimes having someone who is younger than you can be a great way to learn new things.

For example, in an office setting, younger employees can teach older employees about how to use technology in a way that makes it easier for them to understand and use.

Having a mentor doesn’t mean getting advice from someone who has been there before—it means being able to develop your own skills and abilities by being around people who are different from you in some way.

11. Mentoring is only effective when it is face-to-face 

It’s not always that your mentor will be close by you. But no matter how far away your mentor is from you, or how busy they are, mentoring can be done remotely. Mentoring can be effective in all forms—it can be face-to-face or online, on the phone or via Skype, and it can be done one-on-one or in a group setting. The best way to know what method of mentoring will work best for you is to talk about it together with your mentor or mentee.

12. Mentors don’t need any training 

You may presume that mentors don’t need any training, and that being a successful leader or entrepreneur is enough. Some mentors believe this, but it’s not quite true. Mentors who are effective at their jobs are always learning and growing, so they understand that mentoring is an ongoing process of reflection and practice.

They understand that what works for one person won’t necessarily work for another, so they’re open to new ideas about how to help their mentees learn from them. They know it’s important not just to share information with their mentees but also to listen carefully as well.

Mentors also know that being a good mentor means being aware that they need training, and that they need to practice their skills regularly so that they don’t lose them when their mentees need them most!

13. You can’t be both a mentor and a mentee at the same time 

One of the most common myths about mentoring is that you can’t be both a mentor and a mentee at the same time.

Personal and professional development are things that everyone should strive for. It’s important to always be learning new things and growing as a person. While some people may think that you can’t be both a mentor and mentee, we think it is possible to learn from others while also teaching them. Peer mentoring happens when both parties are learning from each other and helping each other find their way in their development journeys. People have different experiences and knowledge bases that can help others grow as well as themselves.

14. Mentoring leads to instant results 

Mentoring is not a quick fix, so don’t expect instant results.

Mentoring requires time and effort on both sides of the relationship. Mentees need to be committed to their own growth, while mentors need to invest in supporting that growth. Having a mentor doesn’t mean you get an instant promotion or raise—it means you’ll have someone who believes in your ability to grow into those roles and positions if you’re willing to be open and put in the effort.

15. Mentors dictate the relationship 

Mentoring is a relationship in which one person (the mentor) provides guidance and support to another person (the mentee). It’s important to remember that mentors are not dictators—they should move at the pace of the mentee, who is ultimately in control of how much they can learn from their mentor. Both the mentor and mentee should always be open to feedback and willing to share their own experiences. Mentors should also be willing to share their own mistakes, successes, and knowledge if asked; this helps ensure that both parties benefit from their time together.

The goal of the mentoring relationship is for the mentee to develop into an independent learner with confidence in their abilities.


Whether you are a mentee or a mentor, it is important to remember that the relationship is one of mutual benefit. The best mentoring relationships are built on trust and respect and can be mutually beneficial for both parties. Mentoring relationships can be challenging at times, but they also provide many benefits such as becoming more self-aware and self-confident, learning new skills, building resilience, gaining valuable insights, building connections, or just having a sounding board and cheerleader! The bottom line for this to happen is that both the mentor and mentees are well prepared for the relationship and are properly trained.