4 phases of mentoring relationship by Kathy Kram

in #steemiteducation6 years ago (edited)

I was introduced to the 4 phases of mentoring relationship(Kram,1988) during a course.

Image Source

The 4 phrases introduced by Kathy Kram in her book ‘Mentoring at Work’ are ‘Initiation’, ‘Cultivation’, ‘Separation’ and ‘Redefinition’.

Based on Kram’s interpretation, mentoring relationship is not a procedural but it may move back and forth between the stages within the mentoring framework.


This is the stage where mentor and mentee can establish common ground where they get to know one another.

Image Source

This is the stage to establish relationship and build trust with mentee.

Informal meeting can be carried out to foster stronger bonding.

At this stage, mentor can find out about the learning needs of mentee.

During this stage, peer observation can also be carried out.

It takes about 6 to 12 months for mentoring relationship to establish.


At this stage, there are frequent interaction opportunities leading to possible mutual development. Relationship is further forged. It is the longest period in the mentoring stages that can last from 2 to 5 years.

Image Source

During this stage, mentor and mentee can collaborate to carry out projects that can result in professional development. There can also be many challenges as the relationship is being tested through actual work.


At this stage, mentee is given autonomy and there will be less frequent meeting with the mentor.

Image Source

During this stage, it will be good to share self-management strategies with mentee.

Goals and objectives that are not achieved can create disappointment and frustration for mentee when he/she has more autonomy and need to handle things independently.

Have an open-door concept where mentee can meet mentor on a need basis to provide a good listening ear as well as guidance to lead them back on track.


At this stage, mentor and mentee relationship becomes peer like. There can be discomfort in the beginning leading to transformation into gratitude of the past learning journey.

Image Source

The fact is that some of these mentees may even have fast promotion opportunities where they become one of the middle management very quickly due to their high potential.

In conclusion

With these 4 phases, we can see that relationship building is the key to open the door for coaching and mentoring.

With great resistance for mentee, there can be no interaction that leads to positive mutual learning.

As mentors, we can learn from new teachers who have just graduated from the teaching institution since they may be exposed to the latest pedagogy but lack of practical experience.

As mentors, we may be active practitioners of teaching but we may not necessary know the latest pedagogy while the new teachers may have the latest pedagogy but they are lacked of practical teaching experience.

By traveling with our mentee in their teaching journey, I am sure we can learn from one another that promote positive growth for both parties.


Kram, K. E. (1988). Mentoring at work: Developmental relationships in organizational life. University Press of America.

Disclaimer: This is my personal reflection and I am not in any position to instruct anyone what they should do. I am not responsible for any action taken as a result of this post. My post can only be a reference for your further research and growth. By reading this post, you acknowledge and accept that. All images and pictures were taken from google images that are free from copyright under labelled for reuse.

Posted from my blog with SteemPress : http://fun2learn.vornix.blog/2018/08/05/4-phases-of-mentoring-relationship-by-kathy-kram/


Congratulations @fun2learn! You have completed the following achievement on Steemit and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

You published a post every day of the week

Click on the badge to view your Board of Honor.
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

To support your work, I also upvoted your post!

Do you like SteemitBoard's project? Then Vote for its witness and get one more award!

If you would like to support the educational community by delegating to @steemiteducation, please click on any of the following links. This will ensure that more teachers are supported on a daily basis.
100SP 200SP 300SP 400SP 500SP 750SP 1000SP 2000SP 3000SP 4000SP 5000SP 10,000SP 25,000SP

Coin Marketplace

STEEM 0.19
TRX 0.12
JST 0.028
BTC 64060.29
ETH 3471.63
USDT 1.00
SBD 2.52