Knowledge Based Mentoring image

Knowledge Based Mentoring

What is Mentoring?

Mentoring is a process whereby relevant knowledge, wisdom and experience are informally passed from the mentor to the mentee (student or protégé) over a sustained period of time. The aim is to develop the skills of the mentee to maximise their potential.

The Role of the Mentor

The mentor’s primary role is to help their mentee:

  • Clarify goals and develop plans to achieve those goals
  • Identify problems and develop solutions

Key requirements for a mentor are good communication skills and relevant experiences to draw from. All of Lauras International mentors have significant manufacturing and management experience gained through years of managing people in a manufacturing environment. They will help you to clarify your problems and work with you to find solutions. Their guidance will be based on their past experience which means that they will share those experiences, including their mistakes, for you to learn from. They will not tell you what to do but instead provoke thoughts and ideas so that you can decide on the best way forward for you, based on your values. They will give you honest, constructive feedback to help you develop and will solicit feedback from you. Everything discussed remains confidential (see the Confidentiality section below).

Your Role as a Mentee

You must be willing to accept constructive feedback, be open to learning, be able to identify goals and have a desire to develop.

Seeing things from a different perspective can be very enlightening. Having someone who has experienced similar situations and who is prepared to offer guidance and direction can be a great asset, helping you to develop quickly and avoid common pitfalls.

The Mentoring Process

Each mentoring session is held in private between the mentor and mentee. The first meeting aims to align expectations and enables you and your mentor to start to get to know each other. Interests, values and personal goals will be discussed. The development of those goals, and the successful attainment of them, will form a significant part of the focus during subsequent mentoring sessions as outlined below. Some ground rules will also be set during this meeting which include:

  • The best way to contact each other
  • When and how often to meet (typically once per month)
  • When to review progress (nominally after the first 6 months)

Subsequent meetings should:

  • Focus on the progress and achievement of your goals
  • Reflect on challenges that you have faced, including probing alternative ways that you could have dealt with the situation
  • Discuss anticipated challenges and ways to approach them

To assist this process, you should bring the following to each meeting:

  • Examples of challenges that you have, or expect to, face
  • An update on how you are progressing with your goals

After 6 months, or on the date determined during your first meeting, you and your mentor should review the mentoring process. The discussion should include:

  • How well the relationship is working between you
  • What progress you have made towards achieving your goals
  • What changes, if any, either party would like to see in the mentoring process
  • When the next review of the process will be (typically a further 6 months)


The only feedback the mentor will provide your company is how often you have attended, or if you have failed to attend. All discussions during a mentoring session will remain confidential with the only exceptions being:

  • Where disclosure is required by law, or
  • When you have given your permission for the information to be disclosed


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Things are getting done since the workshop started


We are pleased with the progress we’re making at the Gweedore site, indeed we’re so pleased that we’re planning to roll out the programme to our other manufacturing sites.

John Donnelly, General Manager, Largo Foods, Ireland