Mentoring is a tool that organizations can use to nurture and grow their people. It can be an informal practice or a formal program. Protégés observe, question, and explore. Mentors demonstrate, explain and model. The following assumptions form the foundation for a solid mentoring program.

Deliberate learning is the cornerstone. The mentor's job is to promote intentional learning, which includes capacity building through methods such as instructing, coaching, providing experiences, modelling and advising.

Development matures over time. Mentoring - when it works - taps into continuous learning that is not an event, or even a string of discrete events. Rather, it is the synthesis of ongoing events, experiences, observations, studies, and thoughtful analysis .

Mentoring is a joint venture. Successful mentoring means sharing responsibility for learning. Regardless of the facilities, the subject matter, the timing, and all other variables, successful mentoring begins with setting a contract for learning around which the mentor, the protégé, and their respective line managers are aligned.