Other sections in Coaching and Mentoring:
Have you ever wished you had someone that you could talk to about the challenges that you are facing; ideas that you want to implement or how to develop your career? Or do you have a desire to help others to develop and grow; do you have experience and knowledge that you want to share with others?
Mentoring can support your learning and development throughout your career. It is as important at the start of a career, as it is when you take on new challenges and roles, and many senior leaders rely on executive mentors to help them think through their strategic decisions. Its benefits include improving your understanding of the working environment, skills development, increased motivation and boosting confidence.
As a Mentor you will gain the satisfaction of watching your mentee progress and have the opportunity to practice your leadership and management skills, develop your communication and interpersonal skills and gain a broader and deeper understanding of your own working environment.
As a Mentee you will be encouraged to challenge your assumptions, broaden your horizons, raise your aspirations and increase your achievements through individualised support. Your mentor should be a sounding board offering guidance through periods of instability and career growth, helping you to manage change and ultimately empowering you to improve your self-confidence and self-awareness.
There are essentially two ways in which you can engage in a mentoring relationship:
1. Your department can allocate a mentor to you as a new member of staff (this is not the same as a buddy - a buddy is someone who will show you the ropes, local conventions such as tea and coffee routines, how to claim your expenses and general local orientation etc), or you may have someone suitable in mind and you can approach them directly. The support pages for Mentors and Mentees will help you with this.
2. The Odyssey mentoring programme is designed to enable you to access a mentor/mentee outside of your normal circle and support you throughout the relationship.
The new Odyssey programme is a brand new initiative for 2017 and has been established at Lancaster to enable mentees to access mentors from across the University, whom they would not normally have the opportunity to meet. This programme will provide a framework for mentoring, a support network and further development opportunities for both mentors and mentees.
An initial briefing and overview session 7th November will give an opportunity to ask questions about the programme and to find out if it might work for you, either as a mentor or mentee.
This structured programme will start on 1st December and include skills development sessions, and support throughout the 9 month duration.
It is not intended that this programme will replace any existing mentoring relationships or your ability to source a mentor yourself or with your manager. It is a more structured approach for those unable to source a mentor themselves or those looking for someone outside their normal circle.
The skills workshops will be open to anyone interested in becoming a mentor and not restricted to programme participants. Closing date for applications is the 20th November.
To find out more information, please email OED
All those registered on the 'Odyssey' mentoring programme will be invited to attend this half day workshop. This is also open to individuals from across the institution who are engaged in a mentoring relationship outside the Odyssey programme.
This half day workshop will focus on what mentoring is (and isn't) and introduce core skills and models that can be used to develop an effective mentoring approach.
Participants will learn
The workshop will be interactive and allow participants to test out models and approaches in a safe space.
This workshop is designed to support practising mentors at the different stages of the mentoring relationship and to help them continue to develop their practice.
To find out more or to book a place, please email OED stating the date and time of the session you wish to book on.
The primary requirement of a mentor is to have a desire to support and develop others to benefit themselves and the University. Be honest with yourself – is this something that you want to do and can commit to doing?
It is important that both parties are clear of what the other expects. Different or unrealistic expectations can be the cause of the mentoring relationship failing or problems arising, so the clearer you both are at the start the better.
As a mentor your role is to help your mentee to find their own solutions rather than tell them what to do. You need to commit to regular meetings and encourage the mentee to drive the relationship by planning meetings dates and topics to discuss, so that the relationship is productive.
A good mentor, has certain experiences and qualities, ask your self “Do I …”.
You also need to consider the practicalities of being a mentor. You will be the experienced one in the mentoring relationship, and there are some practical considerations required in order to optimise the return on your and the mentee’s time. Before you agree to mentor anyone, make sure that you can:
The duration of the mentoring relationship is determined by the mentor and the mentee and it is a good idea to be clear of the expected duration at the outset. A mentoring relationship should only remain in place while it remains fresh and useful, to the satisfaction of both parties. As a guide, mentoring relationships are established normally for a minimum of 6 months and usually last for 12 months, after which a decision is made as to whether or not to continue. In exceptional circumstances, mentoring relationships can last throughout a career.
The exact type of support and frequency of meetings between a mentor and mentee is again something for both parties to determine at the outset. As a guide, a monthly interaction between mentor and mentee of approximately an hour is common but may change during the course of the relationship and may vary depending on the aims of the relationship.
It is important to discuss this with your line manager or PDR reviewer, as part of ongoing PDR discussions, and to decide together whether this is an appropriate activity for you to be involved in.
Follow link to find details of the Odessey mentoring programme. This is designed to potentially match you with a mentee and support you through your mentoring. You can of course offer to mentor a colleague outside of the programme, though if you do not have any prior experience, or would like a refresh of your skills, then we would recommend the stand alone mentoring workshop to ensure you both get the most out of the relationship.
For more information contact OED.
Mentoring has the capacity to support you with a variety of scenarios, i.e. career planning and development, learning and developing new skills, coping with a significant change, gaining a wider perspective of the University to name a few.
Before you embark on a new mentoring relationship it is important to take some time to consider why you need a mentor and what you hope to achieve through a mentoring relationship.
Once you and your line manager have agreed what your development needs are and that mentoring is the best activity to achieve these needs, you then need to select an appropriate mentor.
You may already have someone in mind, in which case you can approach them directly or simply ask your line manager to make an introduction, or you could join the Odyssey programme which will aim to match you with someone appropriate from across the institution. For more details.
When a potential mentor has been identified, it is a good idea to contact them and arrange to have an informal meeting or telephone discussion to explore whether they can support your development needs. This will give you both the opportunity to discuss your expectations of the mentoring relationship. You should also discuss how a mentoring relationship might work in terms of frequency of meetings, expectations (yours and theirs) and how long you anticipate working together overall.
Try to be open to working with someone who has a different style and approach to you. You might feel most comfortable working with someone who you feel is similar to you, but ask yourself how much you will learn from them.
It is important that you spend time at your first meeting to agree a ‘contract’. (See page 15 of the full guidelines document for details) This is a set of groundrules which cover how you both agree to engage in the relationship as well as what you want to achieve overall. (A blank template is available.) The clearer you and your mentor are about each others’ expectations, the more likely the mentoring relationship will be successful.
The contract is confidential and not shared with anyone else, and the template provided is just a guide.
As the mentee, it is your responsibility to ‘own’ the relationship. This means arranging regular meetings and preparing for them by thinking about what you want to discuss and achieve overall and at each meeting. Be specific rather than generic about issues that you are currently facing. The aim of the meetings is to agree action that you will then carry out rather than to have a chat or moan!
The duration of the mentoring relationship is determined by the mentor and the mentee and it is a good idea to be clear of the expected duration at the outset. A mentoring relationship should only remain in place while it remains fresh and useful, to the satisfaction of both parties. As a guide, mentoring relationships are established normally for a minimum of 6 months and usually last for 12 months, after which a decision is made as to whether or not to continue. In exceptional circumstances, mentoring relationships can last throughout a career
It is important to discuss this with your line manager or PDR reviewer, as part of ongoing PDR discussions, and to decide together whether mentoring is the most appropriate activity to support this development need or whether some other form of development would be a better option.
See tab to find details of the Odessey mentoring programme. This is designed to potentially match you with a mentor and support you through your mentoring. You can of course source your own mentor from outside of the programme as this is often the most successful approach.