What is more efficient, one-on-one or group mentoring?
The choice of mentoring method is purely circumstantial as it depends on the nature of mentoring required, availability of resources and the intended outcome. So for instance, let’s start the discussion by identifying situations where one-to-one mentoring makes more sense.
- One-to-one mentoring may be facilitated when there is a lack of sufficient resources in terms of human resources - availability of mentors. With just a single mentor available to the organization, one-to-one seems like a plausible option. In case of financial/ budget limitations, this is again viable for the organization, rather than having to allocate cost into hiring mentors for this particular business need.
- One-to-one may as well be an option if a single resource (individual/ employee) has to be mentored in a personal capacity. A personal relationship is inculcated via one-to-one monitoring.
- Moreover, when an employee requires mentoring or an individual project, where a focused, bi-directional transfer of expertise and knowledge is imperative, one-to-one is more likely and economical.
Group Mentoring takes the lead!
Group Mentoring is again a circumstantial preference, but it has been adopted across organizations as a more valuable form of mentoring based on the following benefits that it provides relative to traditional one-to-one mentoring:
- Group mentoring is economical such that it covers a large number of individuals in a single mentoring session, thereby saving costs, effort and time. By deploying resources in group mentoring, several one-to-one sessions may be avoided which redeems investment in human resources and time.
- Group mentoring enables a more structured mentoring whereby the group of mentors is assisted by Mentoring Group Leader on-the-go. Moreover, there is an opportunity for pooling in expertise and knowledge from each mentor. This vast pool is then shared with the mentorees, allowing greater exposure to each one.
- Group mentoring allows for a controlled mentoring experience, whereby rigid scheduling and a professional rather than a personal relationship is called for. In traditional one-to-one sessions, a close-knit and personal bond exists between the mentor and mentoree, allowing for unnecessary flexibility.
- Group mentoring also invites a diversity of perspectives and diversity in general terms such as ethnicity, sex, and social class. These contrasting perspectives help with problem-solving and enhance the development process, where each one contributes his/ her unbiased opinion on a specific issue.
- Group mentoring encourages team spirit and instills a team-work culture among employees.Teamwork has become a necessary element across businesses, for both virtual as well as all Brick & Mortar structures. Individuals in group mentoring learn to co-exist with other members of the team. This propagates healthy competition among members where each member tries to perform better than the other, ensuring higher productivity, as a result.
- Group mentoring is considered to be more efficient as it paves way for greater networking; members are able to expand their networks through interaction with people from a diverse set of backgrounds.
- Lastly, group mentoring ensures that mentorees from the current mentoring group can be trained on to become mentors for the next episode of business mentoring needs. This is yet another way to save on cost.
No matter if you are in a group or solo, get the mentor to help bring yourself to the next level!
Until next time!
Terence Young, MD
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