The Power and Potential of Positive Mentoring

Document Type


Publication Date



I’d like to share one of my favorite quotes, which underscores the power and potential of positive mentoring. Sir Isaac Newton stated, ‘‘If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.’’ To me, this statement reinforces the influential and significant role that mentors play in our lives. Mentors guide the professional development of a mentee by sharing knowledge, experience, wisdom, and perspective within a context of mutual respect and trust. A true mentor advises, encourages, and serves as a role model, while offering honest critique and candid feedback—all the while establishing and maintaining professional boundaries and relationships. Positive mentors are generous, competent, and focused on the growth of the mentee. Mentoring relationships are not confined by time and place, can occur at any point in one’s career, and are characterized by collegiality and collaboration. In the context of these relationships, mentees demonstrate initiative and curiosity, a desire to learn, a commitment to improvement, and a willingness to seek guidance.1