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Do mentors learn by mentoring others?

K.N. Rekha (Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India)
M.P. Ganesh (Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India)

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education

ISSN: 2046-6854

Article publication date: 8 June 2012




The purpose of the study was to understand the learnings of adults (who are undergraduates, post graduates or working professionals) who volunteered to be the mentors to make a difference in the life of the adolescents who are from underprivileged backgrounds.


The authors conducted their study in a not for profit organization (NPO) which has a unique mentoring program called Dronocharya Ekalavya (DNE) mentoring program in Hyderabad, India. The authors conducted telephonic interviews with 15 mentors using a semi‐structured questionnaire and also administered an online survey to 59 respondents. Since the study is a qualitative research, results cannot be generalisable.


The findings of the study conclude that mentors do learn from the mentoring program organized by NPO. Mentors learnt soft skills such as interpersonal skills, leadership skills, etc. Also they learnt to build rapport and trust. The study highlighted the changes in behaviors of mentors such as self‐realisation, and change in attitude.

Research limitations/implications

Social desirability effect might have impacted the results but all efforts have been invested in carefully handling the data. A possible longitudinal study can focus on comparing learning outcomes of mentors at the beginning of the mentoring program with learning outcomes of mentors at the end of the mentoring program. Future research could focus on how and what do they learn from each other by expanding the study to many organizations.


There is no empirical research conducted to study the benefits gained by mentors through mentoring program, especially referencing to youth mentoring. This study will help organizations (both NGO and other businesses) understand the benefits of mentoring to the mentors.



Rekha, K.N. and Ganesh, M.P. (2012), "Do mentors learn by mentoring others?", International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 205-217.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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