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Best books on mentoring

November 23, 2020

Workplace mentorships are one of the best professional development experiences. Many mentees will say that it was their mentor that made a difference in their careers. 

Both mentors and mentees can learn from the process. Both by engaging with each other and by learning from articles or books more about the mentoring process and how to get the most from the experience. 

Yet, finding the right book about mentoring can be a challenge. There are some tools that readers can use to point them in the right direction. This includes customer reviews, word-of-mouth from family, friends, or co-workers. 

Here are some of the best books on mentoring for those looking to make the most out of a mentorship opportunity. 

Why mentoring books are important

Not everyone is clear on what is expected from a mentor or mentee. There can be some different expectations when the relationship is formally developed, through a workplace mentoring program, than when it naturally occurs between two individuals. Thus, being able to find resources to help guide the process is vital to get the most from this life-changing opportunity. 

10 best books about mentoring

When it comes to writing about mentoring authors have taken different approaches exploring the differences of mentoring vs coaching vs training. Depending on what readers are looking for, there will be a book about mentoring to satisfy curious minds. Here are 10 of the best mentoring books. 

  1. The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. - Author Daniel Coyle offers advice for anyone looking to maximize potential in themselves and others. It is an ideal read for mentors looking to take their mentees to the next level. In the book, Coyle examines three key elements that help individuals excel and develop their gifts. These include deep practice, ignition, and master coaching. 
  2. Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women - Mentoring relationships have been around for hundreds of years. However, authors W. Brad Johnson and David Smith examine how uneven the mentorship playing field is for women. Their book instructs men on how to effectively mentor women. They also look at the benefits that such a mentoring relationship can be to women in the workplace.
  3. The Mentor that Matters: Stories of Transformational Teachers, Role Models, and Heroes -  An inspirational book that looks at 40 different mentoring scenarios and how they were life-changing experiences for the mentee. It also invites the reader to ask some probing questions like How can another person help us to be the most powerful version of ourselves? How can we honor mentors and the gifts they give us? 
  4. Coaching and Mentoring for Work-Life Balance - Work-life balance is a significant challenge for mentees in our connected world. Helping them deal with conflicting demands is something unique that mentors can offer. Mentors can benefit from advice that covers discussing the interconnectedness of work. Home and social life. Using research and practice the authors present tools and techniques to use. Worksheets can also be downloaded for practical use. 
  5. Mastering Mentoring and Coaching with Emotional Intelligence -  In this book, Patrick Merlevede and Denis Briodoux have gathered material over the years to help readers understand key elements of mentoring. The book also examines the similarities and differences between coaching and mentoring. There are tips and exercises that help mentors develop a strategy to use emotional intelligence in their mentorship. 
  6. The Mentoring Manual - Julie Starr’s book helps mentors who may be new to the role. Get to understand how mentoring works and how both a mentor and mentee can get the most from the relationship. Mentors will be able to gain confidence in their abilities as well as develop important skills like listening. 
  7. A Critical Introduction to Coaching and Mentoring - For those looking for a more in-depth book about the theory and practice of mentoring, David Gray, Bob Garvey, and David Lane deliver. This book gives a comprehensive look at the purpose of mentoring and coaching, the settings where these relationships develop, and how mentoring became a professional practice. Using case studies, questions, and activities,  the authors help readers develop a deeper understanding of mentoring and how it can be successfully integrated into organizations. 
  8. Business Coaching & Mentoring for Dummies - For readers who are looking for a simple and easy-to-read guidebook on how to be a good mentoring, the For Dummies book is a great fit. Offering business-led strategies, effective techniques, and key concepts, readers will gain an understanding of the skills needed for effective mentoring. There are also videos on the book website that take the learning further. Readers will be better equipped to handle tricky situations, create a long-term plan, and use tools that can facilitate mentoring in the workplace. 
  9. The Leader’s Guide to Coaching & Mentoring - This book was created by Miek Brent and Fiona Elsa Dent for managers that can help them in mentoring and leadership situations. Readers will learn more about essential mentoring skills like listening, reading body language, challenging and affirming, and more. The book also guides readers on 10 pitfalls to avoid when coaching or mentoring. If your mentoring goal is to encourage optimal performance, this may be the right read for you. This book is one of many great practical leadership books.
  10. A Handbook for Managing Mentoring Programs - Written by Laura Lunsford, it is directed at mentoring program managers. By using research on mentoring, this book guides readers to understand how to practically manage a mentoring program. It covers behaviors of mentoring, stages of the mentoring relationships, characteristics of high-quality mentorship as well as tips on how to avoid negative mentoring situations. 

Whether you are looking to learn more about the practice of mentoring or need more practical advice about making a mentorship successful, there will be a book that is right for you. Reading up on the whys, whats, and how-tos of mentoring can help anyone looking to develop a workplace mentoring program that makes a difference. 

To help learn more about being a great mentor or mentee, watch Together’s webinar that will guide you to get more from your meetings. 

Download our Full Report on Mentoring

We interviewed and surveyed employees from 50+ leading North American Companies including McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, IBM, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Capital One, Norton Rose Fulbright, Mackenzie Investments. Get the results below.

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