What is Catholic Mentoring?

Mentoring is typically affiliated with something that is done in a corporate or secular setting. However, in a Catholic context, it is better described as ‘spiritual accompaniment’.

It is a mutually beneficial relationship which involves a more experienced person helping a less experienced person to reach their potential.

Mentoring is:

  • Relationship and partnership-based
  • Mutually enriching
  • Supportive and encouraging
  • Confidence building
  • Based on mutual trust and respect
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Mentoring is not:

  • Coaching: Coaching relates to a specific set of skills and is focused on specific results. People might use coaching to improve their public speaking or a professional skill. In contrast, mentoring is more holistic. Mentoring focuses on the mentee developing as a person throughout their life and career. Mentoring also tends to have a longer timeframe than coaching.
  • Management: Management typically relates to achieving goals at work and has a strong focus on providing advice and guidance on technical issues. There is an implicit power imbalance in the relationship between the manager and the employee. This is not the case between a mentor and mentee.
  • Counselling: Counselling relates to resolving personal issues, or determining the cause of personal unrest. While you will share your life journey, the mentor cannot be a counsellor and mentors should not attempt to resolve personal problems for the mentee or provide advice to address underlying personal issues that may manifest in some way. Mentors can assist mentees to set goals, work through problems and develop action plans. Mentors can also be a sounding board, provide advice and access to networks as appropriate – but it is not a mentor’s role to solve problems for their mentee.
  • Spiritual Direction: Mentors are not expected to provide spiritual direction. The program sees the relationship as two Catholic women walking together, supporting each other as companions in faith. Whilst the older mentor will be able to share guidance and life experience in many areas, spiritual nourishment and encouragement will occur both ways.