others. Ultimately, the Coast Guard improves as an organization through the performance
improvements of our people.
c. Research, as well as the Coast Guard's experience since establishing a formal mentoring
program in 1991, confirms that mentoring increases productivity and career satisfaction among
mentors and those whom they mentor. In addition to strengthening performance and increasing
retention, mentoring directly contributes to the career planning and personal growth objectives of
the Individual Development Plan (IDP). Recent updates to the mentoring program, contained in
this instruction, were made in concert with revisions to the IDP program (see reference (a) for
details regarding IDPs).
(1) Mentor. A person at a higher level within an organization or profession who provides
counsel and career guidance. Some organizations have formal mentoring systems, while most
informal mentoring relationships develop over time. A mentor relationship is one where the
outcome of the relationship is expected to benefit all parties in the relationship for personal
growth, career development, lifestyle enhancement, spiritual fulfillment, goal achievement,
and other areas mutually designated by the mentor and partner.
(2) Mentee (also referred to as protg). The role that a less experienced employee assumes
when working with a mentor. The role requires and assumes a willingness to actively work
with and to learn from the experience and wisdom of the mentor.
(3) Mentoring Process. A developmental process in which a more experienced employee
commits to working and learning together with a less experienced employee for the purpose
of professional development. The mentoring process includes a series of phases in which the
mentor's leadership of the process is adapted to the developing strengths and changing needs
of the mentee. The result of an effective mentoring process is a self-confident and competent
professional who is also prepared to mentor others.
(4) Mentoring Relationship. The developmental relationship of a mentor and mentee that is
characterized by confidentiality, trust, caring, and mutual support and challenge for growth.
The mentoring relationship creates the necessary context of safety and confidence for the
mentor and mentee to take the risks of trying new work strategies and of learning in front of
each other. This context is necessary for accelerated professional growth.
(5) Formal Mentoring. A relationship which has an agreed to beginning and end, a method for
no fault termination, a formal matching of the mentor and mentee, and agreed to goals,
objectives and/or checkpoints.
(6) Informal Mentoring. This partnership usually occurs when one person (the mentee) seeks
another for career advice or to be their career guide. It can also occur when a person (the