What is Group Mentoring? - Everything You Need to Know

What is group mentoring and how can it be used? Learn more about this mentoring style in our ultimate group mentoring guide.

Group Mentoring Meeting« Back to Articles

Mentoring is becoming more prevalent for organisations across the globe, with many now using it as their primary strategy for professional development. When we think of mentoring, we typically think of it in the traditional 1-to-1 context where a mentor and mentee come together. In the ‘traditional' form of mentoring, it’s typically a more accomplished senior mentoring their younger and less skilled mentee. Surprisingly, to many people, there are actually several ways of mentoring such as reverse or peer mentoring. Over the years mentoring has evolved to meet the needs of organisations and their employees. Throughout this article, we will be discussing group mentoring which is now becoming an extremely popular style used by organisations.

What is Group Mentoring?

So, you're probably questioning ‘what even is group mentoring?’. Group mentoring, also known as team mentoring is where one individual acts as a mentor and oversees multiple mentees, it also can be reversed where a singular mentee has various mentors. Essentially, it's a compilation of mentoring relationships coming together regularly for a set time.

Group mentoring is a flexible take on traditional mentoring, with all the added benefits. More commonly, in this method of mentoring, there are 1-2 mentors with a group of 5+ mentees that come collectively to collaborate for the purpose of learning and development. The most common purpose of these mentoring groups is to help the mentees set development goals whilst gaining knowledge and are often used when a required number of mentors are unavailable, during the onboarding process or if a particular mentor has unique knowledge that mentees need within an organisation.

This style of mentoring is often characterised by:

  • Mentees having a related goal (For example, learning how to use specific software).
  • Mentees in the group are liable to support the learning and development of the other group members.
  • All members meet at the same time to discuss the topic.
  • The mentees are responsible and held accountable for their own learning.

The Pros and Cons of Group Mentoring

Similar to ‘traditional’ mentoring, group mentoring is beneficial not only to the organisation but to the mentors and mentees involved. There are advantages and disadvantages to any type of mentoring, if you want to know if this style would be suited to your organisation, let's review the pros and cons that are often associated with group mentoring.

Pros:

  • Requires fewer resources than 1-to-1 mentoring.
  • Mentees and mentors can obtain feedback from more individuals.
  • Communication and teamwork skills can be improved upon more effectively within a group setting.
  • Group mentoring opens up the possibility for the group members to have greater exposure to multiple levels of knowledge and expertise.
  • There are numerous sources of support available.
  • By working as a group, mentees can bond and build a network with each other.
  • As there is greater diversity within groups, a diverse perspective can be given whilst allowing members to gain a deeper knowledge and insight into diversity as a whole.
  • Groups can help enhance the mentoring culture within an organisation and create a sense of community Mentees usually feel more comfortable collaborating in a group environment compared to 1-to-1 meetings.

Cons:

  • The mentoring relationship can appear less personal as opposed to 1-to-1 mentoring.
  • Confidentiality can become a more complex issue, with some members not feeling confident about sharing information.
  • Each member has diverse needs and wants that have to be acknowledged.
  • Scheduling meetings and arrangements can become more challenging due to the volume of people within the group.
  • Competition can transpire within the group, preventing success, learning and collaboration.

Getting Started with Group Mentoring

If you've read this far and feel this style of mentoring would be advantageous and practical with your organisation, let's talk about how you can achieve it.

Determine Goals and Purpose

When starting a group mentoring program, it's important to firstly distinguish and determine the goals and purpose you want to accomplish. The groups should work collectively towards a similar goal, recognising how it will serve the organisation, benefit the team as a whole and learn more about what is expected from both the mentees and mentors.

Pick the Right People

Selecting the appropriate people can feel like an overwhelming task but it will ultimately lead to the success of your program. It's essential to capitalise on the already existing knowledge and skills of the group, whilst being open to the possibility of obtaining more members if the expertise isn't available.

Planning

Planning is a vital step to any mentoring program, not just group mentoring. An efficient and successful program always starts with a plan and distinguished objectives. During the planning stage, you should consider things such as how mentoring sessions will be held (remotely or face to face), how teams will be formed and how you plan to promote your program.

Decide What Happens Next

Will you extend the mentoring sessions once it's finished? Was it valuable? These are some of the few questions you should ask yourself when determining what will happen once the program is completed. You also need to establish a way of measuring the success of the program and collect feedback for improvements.

Final Thoughts

Group mentoring is becoming a more frequently used method of mentoring within organisations, and we can understand why. The flexibility and opportunities that group mentoring brings, allowing the creation of a learning and mentoring culture within your organisation is truly priceless. Group mentoring is the perfect way to combat a lack of mentors, allow expertise to be shared on a larger scale and provide the possibility for relationships to be formed. Whether group mentoring will be used for leadership development or other purposes, it can be a fantastic way to allow your employees to develop unitedly.

PushFar is the world's leading mentoring and career progression platform, helping organisations and individuals across the globe meet their mentoring needs. If you want more information about mentoring or think a mentoring program would be valuable within your organisation, you can request a free demonstration with us.
PushFar: The World-Leading Mentoring Platform
At PushFar, we run the world's leading mentoring platform, offering free mentoring for more than 50,000 professionals, students and entrepreneurs. We also licence our mentoring software into hundreds of organisations, globally, to support internal mentoring programs. So, whether you're looking to become a mentor, find a mentor or run a mentoring program, PushFar are here to help.
 
Looking for a mentor or to become a mentor?
Join Free Looking for mentoring software to support your private or organisational mentoring programs?
Request a Demo

Explore more articles...

Similar mentoring, career progression and learning articles and resources by PushFar, you might like to read.