Main Nav

Just as there are types of mentoring to address career goals, there are different approaches to mentoring that can be used individually or combined to meet mentee-mentor interests in pursuing one-to-one or group-based experiences, the demands of time, and individual and organizational outcomes.

  Traditional Network Group Minute Circle Invisible Reverse
Mentor individual group one or two individuals individual/many group individual/non-interactive individual
Role of Mentor(s) expert passing on knowledge to an individual co-learners sharing knowledge expert(s) passing on knowledge to a group expert passing on knowledge co-learners sharing knowledge observed at a distance new staff and/or from different generation passing on knowledge
Relationship(s) hierarchical; 
inside organization
hierarchical and peer; 
inside/outside organization
hierarchical; inside organization hierarchical and peer; inside/outside organization circle of peers mentor is subject of intense research mentor and mentee convey information regarding generational similarities and differences
Time commitment long-term variable long-term minutes medium/long-term variable long-term
Individual outcomes enhanced performance;
career accomplishments;
career satisfaction;
career advancement
enhanced performance;
social skills;
leadership capability
enhanced performance; career accomplishments; career advancement enhanced performance; social skills enhanced performance; career advancement; social skills; self-awareness enhanced performance; learning mutual learning and understanding;
career advice;
career advancement
Organizational outcomes enhanced performance;
enhanced performance;
organizational learning;
leadership capacity
enhanced performance; retention; junior staff benefit from senior staff knowledge enhanced performance; leadership capacity enhanced performance; collaboration; learning; leadership capacity enhanced performance;
understanding of multi-generational issues

Basic attributes of the "network" style:

  • a small group of people to whom you turn for mentoring
  • incorporation of individuals outside your own organization
  • based on a high degree of mutual learning and trust

Basic attributes of the "group" style:

  • one or two mentors provide mentoring to a group of employees
  • enables an organization to provide mentoring to more mentees than one-on-one matching programs
  • typically work with a group of mentees that have something in common, e.g., new middle managers, or wish to pursue a common need, e.g., those interested in advancing a career in management

Basic attributes of the "minute mentoring" style:

  • based on the concept of speed-dating
  • saves time
  • many people meet one-on-one at an event for a few minutes at a time
  • meet many different people in a short amount of time
  • convey knowledge and "pearls" of wisdom

Basic attributes of the "mentoring circle" style:

  • peer mentoring support network for friends and/or colleagues
  • relationships are reciprocal in nature
  • members of the circle support each others' professional and personal growth

Basic attributes of the "invisible" style:

  • invisible mentors are leaders from who you can learn by observing from a distance
  • learning is through extensive research into the mentor's life, including what has been  written about him/her, speeches/presentations, etc.

Basic attributes of the "reverse" style:

  • senior staff are paired with new employees, most often from a different generation
  • senior staff gains new perspective about the future generation
  • junior staff gains career advice and opportunity to interact with senior staff

Annual Conference
September 29–October 2
View Proceedings

Events for all Levels and Interests

Whether you're looking for a conference to attend face-to-face to connect with peers, or for an online event for team professional development, see what's upcoming.


Digital Badges
Member recognition effort
Earn yours >

Career Center

Leadership and Management Programs

EDUCAUSE Institute
Project Management



Jump Start Your Career Growth

Explore EDUCAUSE professional development opportunities that match your career aspirations and desired level of time investment through our interactive online guide.


EDUCAUSE organizes its efforts around three IT Focus Areas



Join These Programs If Your Focus Is


Get on the Higher Ed IT Map

Employees of EDUCAUSE member institutions and organizations are invited to create individual profiles.



2015 Strategic Priorities

  • Building the Profession
  • IT as a Game Changer
  • Foundations

Learn More >

Uncommon Thinking for the Common Good™

EDUCAUSE is the foremost community of higher education IT leaders and professionals.