It has been written that there are several definitions of mentoring in the literature. Foremost, mentoring involves communication and is relationship based. In the organizational setting, mentoring can take many forms. One definition of the many that has been proposed, is "Mentoring is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development; mentoring entails informal communication, usually face-to-face and during a sustained period of time, between a person who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom, or experience (the mentor) and a person who is perceived to have less.
1. Accompanying: This means making a commitment in a caring way. Accompanying involves taking part in the learning process by taking the path with the learner.
2. Sowing: Mentors are often confronted with the difficulty of preparing the learner before he or she is ready to change. Sowing is necessary when you know that what you say may not be understood or even acceptable to learners at first but will make sense and have value to the mentee when the situation requires it.
3. Catalyzing: When change reaches a critical level of pressure, learning can jump. Here the mentor chooses to plunge the learner right into change, provoking a different way of thinking, a change in identity or a re-ordering of values.
4. Showing: this is making something understandable, or using your own example to demonstrate a skill or activity. You show what you are talking about, you show by your own behavior.
5. Harvesting: Here the mentor focuses on "picking the ripe fruit": it is usually learned to create awareness of what was learned by experience and to draw conclusions. The key questions here are: "What have you learned?" "How useful is it?"