Distinction between Mentoring and Sponsoring

Criteria for distinction

It is great to know persons who support your learning journey with regard to your job and your career.

They may do so in different ways.

💭 There are four criteria for distinction:

  1. Role: Why does that person have that support role?
  2. Who sets goals and is ultimately responsible for their attainment?
  3. Which competencies do they need to perform their role well?
  4. How do they support you?


Role = positionRole = self-chosenRole = jobRole = self-chosen
Goal definition and responsibility: with the leaderGoal definition and responsibility: with menteeGoal definition and responsibility: with coacheeGoal definition and responsibility: with sponsor (perceived protégé’s goals)
Competences: Technical, methodological, communicativeCompetences: empathic listening, self-critical, self-reflectedCompetences: Methods regarding processes of learning and consultationCompetences: power and influence
Support: instruction, control, delegationSupport: experience, access to own networksSupport: questions, structuringSupport: door opening Condition: protégé supports sponsor’s vision

So that means:

💡 A PI, PhD supervisor or your boss is not a mentor.

Mentor and mentee should not be in a relationship of dependence.

Photo: Unsplash

Work. Suited for me.

Personalized coaching on time- and self-management as well as career counselling – not just for academics.

Dr. Christiane Kasack

Call me at: 0176 23 23 90 43
© 2024 Christiane Kasack