Mentoring Glossary of Terms


Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI involves using computers to do things that traditionally require human intelligence. The goal for AI is to be able to do things like recognize patterns, make decisions, and judge like humans.

Buddy mentoring

Organizations or Universities often use buddy systems or peer-to-peer mentoring to help new employees or students adjust to jobs or a first year at school during their first few months.


Coaching takes place within the confines of a formal manager-employee relationship and the focus is to develop individuals within their current job. Coaching is more functional whereas mentoring is more relational.

Coffee Chat Mentoring

Coffee Chat Mentoring is when a mentee has a one-off discussion with a mentor about a specific topic or area of interest.


The session that the mentor and mentee participate in, sometimes known as a mentoring session.

Corporate mentoring

Corporate mentoring is a professional relationship in which an experienced person (the mentor) assists another (the mentee) in developing specific skills and knowledge that will enhance the less-experienced person’s professional and personal growth. Corporate mentoring is also called business mentoring.

Distance mentoring

Distance mentoring is when mentee and mentor living in different places. Sometimes also called e-Mentoring. Mentoring can take palace across states or provinces as well as countries and continents. Apart from time zones and language barriers, mentoring can take place anywhere.

Employee resource groups

(also known as ERGs, affinity groups, or business network groups) are groups of employees who join together in their workplace based on shared characteristics or life experiences.

Executive mentoring

This is the same as corporate mentoring, but the mentees are at the executive level and paired with senior executives.

Flash mentoring

This is when mentors and mentees meet just once or twice rather than a longer period such as six months or year. Unusually to discuss a specific topic or challenge. Also known as fast mentoring.

Formal mentoring

Formal mentoring programs are structured by organizations to achieve measurable outcomes and are supported by senior management with results and outcomes tracked and monitored.

Group mentoring

Group mentoring requires a mentor to work a number of mentees at one time.

Informal mentoring

Informal mentoring is where there is mentoring taking place within an organization but on a casual basis and is often driven by the mentees themselves.

Machine Learning

Machine learning is about providing programs the ability to analyse data to improve the way it works over time.


A mentor is a person with experience in a variety of areas who is willing to share his or her insights with a mentee to help them grow professionally and personally.


The mentee is a person seeking guidance and direction from a more experienced or knowledgeable mentor. A mentee drives the mentoring relationship and learns from the mentor.

Mentoring algorithm

Mentoring software uses algorithms to match mentors with mentees from online forms that are completed as part of the matching process.

Mentor matching

Making a good match in mentoring is the most critical component to success.  Matching pairs takes into account skillsets,  work history , interests, personality traits to ensure the maximum compatibility between pairs.

Mentoring program manager

This is the person who manages the mentoring program also known as a Program Administrator.

Mentoring software

Normally a subscription based software to help match mentoring program participants and take them through a guided activity or connection plan.


This is the name given to the things that are tracked within a mentoring program such as number of successful matches, milestones achieved, number of meetings, etc.


The process of training  and teaching both mentors and mentees of the mentoring process and program.

One-on-one mentoring

In this traditional mentoring model, one mentor is matched with one mentee, and program manager monitors the match’s progress over the course of the partnerships time together.

Online mentoring

the process of mentoring in a virtual environment such as using tools such as Zoom, FaceTime, What’sAp etc. along with using software to schedule meetings and calls as well as complete tasks and activities as part of the on-going mentoring partnership.

Online Journal

The process by which mentees take notes in their online notepad or journal as part of the mentoring process within a mentoring software.


Similar term for a mentee.  The definition of a  Protégé isone who is protected or trained or whose career is furthered by a person of experience, prominence, or influence”.

Reverse mentoring

This form of mentoring matches senior executives (the mentees with younger people (the mentors) to help the older generation stay current and informed about new technologies or trends.

ROI (Return on Investment)

This is the financial results the benefit the organization based on the costs associated with running, planning and executing a mentoring program.

Self-directed mentoring

In this model, the mentee takes the initiative and asks a person to be his or her mentor.

Speed mentoring

Time-limited meetings (usually 1 hour) in which the relationship is intended to deliver targeted information or offer networking opportunities. One-time only.

Succession planning

This sort of planning helps transition people within your organization into more responsible positions as others leave the company and/or retire. Mentoring is often used as a way to make the transition go more smoothly.

Virtual Mentoring

The process of meeting on-line  via tools such as Zoom, What’sAp, FaceTime etc.