Best practices and strategies for successful mentoring

March 22, 2023 Coaching and Mentoring

barriers to mentoring

As we’ve explored in previous articles, mentoring can be a powerful tool for personal and professional development. However, it’s important to acknowledge that there are potential barriers that can prevent a mentoring relationship from being successful. In this article, we’ll examine some of the most common barriers to mentoring and provide strategies for successful mentoring.

Organisational Barriers

Time Barrier

One of the most common barriers to mentoring is a lack of time. Mentors and mentees may have busy schedules, conflicting demands, or feel that they don’t have the resources to dedicate to mentoring.

To overcome this barrier, businesses can take several steps. First, they can ensure that all departments are adequately resourced so that employees have the time and support they need to participate in mentoring programs. Second, they can emphasise the importance of mentoring to both mentors and mentees, so that they understand the value of making time for the relationship. Finally, businesses can set aside dedicated time for mentoring, such as a weekly or monthly meeting, to ensure that the relationship is given the attention it deserves.

Diversity Barrier

Another potential barrier to mentoring is a lack of diversity. When mentors all come from similar backgrounds, it can be challenging for mentees to form meaningful relationships and benefit from the mentor’s experience.

To overcome this barrier, businesses should aim to build mentoring programs that include mentors from a range of experiences and backgrounds. This could involve offering specific programs for underrepresented groups and encouraging mentors who identify with these groups to participate. Additionally, all mentors should receive diversity and inclusion training before launching a program, so that they are better equipped to work with a wide range of mentees.

Individual Barriers

Communication Barrier

Effective communication is key to any successful mentoring relationship. However, there are many factors that can create a communication barrier, including language differences, communication style, or the nature of the communication itself.

To overcome this barrier, it’s important that both parties are trained in effective communication, and that mentors are aware of their responsibilities to adapt their communication to fit the needs of their mentees. When there is a language barrier, it’s essential to ensure that mentors and mentees are matched with people who share the same mother tongue or can communicate simply and clearly. Mentors should also replay their understanding of what the mentee has said to reach a mutual understanding.

Incompatibility Barrier

Sometimes, mentors and mentees will find that they have incompatible personalities, value systems, religions, or worldviews. In these situations, it may be difficult for a good relationship to be established.

To overcome this barrier, mentors should receive training on how to work with people with differences in personality and communication style. Additionally, the process of matching mentors and mentees can provide a good solution to mismatches. This could involve using surveys or psychometric tests to find greater alignment between interests, goals, and personalities. However, caution should be taken to avoid an “echo chamber” effect, where mentees are only exposed to similar perspectives. Ultimately, there should be a process in place for mentors and means.


In conclusion, mentoring is a powerful tool that can be used to develop individuals in a variety of settings. In this series of articles, we have explored what mentoring is and how it differs from coaching. We discussed the different types of mentoring, including formal, informal, and peer-to-peer mentoring. We also explored the advantages and disadvantages of each type of mentoring.

We also explored how organisation context can have an impact on its success.

We then delved into the benefits of mentoring for individuals and businesses. We explored how mentoring can improve job satisfaction, increase employee retention, and help individuals develop new skills and knowledge.

Next, we looked at how to implement successful mentoring programs and how the success and impact of mentoring can be measured. We discussed the importance of setting clear goals, identifying the right mentors, and providing adequate resources to ensure the success of the program.

In this final article, we identified potential barriers to mentoring and developed strategies to overcome these barriers. We discussed the importance of addressing organizational barriers such as time and diversity, as well as individual barriers such as communication, incompatibility, and commitment.

By implementing the strategies we’ve discussed in this series, businesses can create successful mentoring programs that benefit both the mentor and the mentee. Mentoring can help to develop individuals, increase employee satisfaction, and improve business performance. With the right approach, mentoring can be a powerful tool for any business looking for growth.

We hope that this series of articles have been informative and helpful in guiding mentoring. We would love to hear your feedback, especially if you have topic ideas for more articles. Feel free to drop us a line.