One Acronym That Captures the Essence of Mentoring

Thank you for the comments and emails on making an acronym that explains MENTOR. Your suggestions are incredible.

I’ve decided to add “ing” to expand possibilities. With your help, here’s where I landed.


M: mission

Declare and define mission.

  • What are we trying to accomplish?
  • Why does it matter?

E: explore

  • Explore what the protege knows. What have you already tried? How did it work?
  • Explore and establish goals. What does progress look like?
  • Explore next steps.

N: navigate

  • Navigate the path forward. 
  • How will we interact together?
  • How do you best learn?

T: trust

Make it safe to try and fail.

O: open

Open your ears before you open your mouth.

R: reflect

  • Reflect on the process. What’s working for you? What could be better?
  • Reflect on progress. What shifts in thinking are you having? What are you learning about yourself?
  • Reflect on performance, both yours and theirs, by consistently practicing feedback.

I: inspire

  • Inspire proteges to take action without you.
  • Inspire by celebrating progress.
  • Inspire by nudging proteges to challenge themselves.
  • Inspire by honoring passion and strength.

N: nurture

  • Nurture relationship.
  • Tell stories.
  • Be real.

G: grow.


The prize for the most creative suggestion goes to John. Thanks for putting all the letters into a single sentence. Incredible! (My apologies for adding “ing”.)

M – Model and facilitate ways to
E – Explore,
N – Nurture, and
T – Trust our abilities to seize
O – Opportunities to make
R – Realistic differences / improvements

What descriptions would you add to the current acronym – M.E.N.T.O.R.I.N.G. – using the 9 anchor words?

**Thanks for all your suggestions. I won’t be able to respond to comments until later tonight.