Responsibilities in Mentoring

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Mentors’ and mentees’ awareness of their own responsibilities can change throughout the course of a mentorship. This can lead to lack of clarity or, at times, disappointments. Therefore, we advise that responsibilities be addressed in every phase of a mentorship, not just the first part.

Clarification in the first meeting

Those general responsibilities should be clarified at the program’s outset.

  • Who invites to meetings?
  • How often will we be in touch? Who makes what step, when it is time then to meet?

However, a more practical and specific discussion about them happens over time. Our experience has been that particular awareness should be given to this topic during the Phases of Mentoring.


The mentor’s main responsibility is to establish the first steps in a mentorship and then to maintain it throughout. On a related note, mentors should also give their meetings with mentees clear formal and methodological structures.


The mentee is responsible for communicating with his or her mentor actively and regularly, developing his or her activities independently, and implementing the ideas that came about through meetings.

Nils-Eyk Zimmermann

Nils-Eyk Zimmermann

Editor of Competendo. Coordinator of the project DIGIT-AL Digital Transformation in Adult Learning for Active Citizenship. Network Secretary of the DARE network. Topics: active citizenship, civil society, digital transformation, non-formal and lifelong learning, capacity building. Blogs here: Blog: Civil Resilience. Email:



Mentoring Handbook

Providing Systemic Support for Mentees and Their Projects

MitOst editions, Berlin 2012, Online