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?

Getting started

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).

2. Direct approach to someone known to you, or recommended by your manager or colleague.

Odyssey - Mentoring support at Lancaster

Odyssey provides a network of support and development for both mentors and mentees. This will take the form of CPD sessions and facilitated peer support. We recommend that anyone new to mentoring attend the relevant sessions to get the most out of any mentoring relationship.

Please see the tabs below for on-line information and support for mentors and mentees.

Odyssey is not a matching service, however, if you are having difficulty finding a mentor then the mentee session listed below may help you to identify someone.

Odyssey - Support programme for Mentees

If you have been wondering whether mentoring would work for you and would like some more clarity about what it is and how to find yourself a mentor, we will be offering a workshop to enable you to explore:

  • what good mentoring looks, sounds and feels like
  • the responsibilities of mentees and mentors and what you can expect from a mentoring relationship
  • working with your manager to find a mentor
  • confidence in approaching staff about becoming your mentor

Dates

10.02.20, 10.00am-12.00pm - Book here

19.05.20, 10.00am-12.00pm - Book here

Odyssey - Support programme for Mentors

Introduction to Mentoring; core mentoring skills

This practical 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

  • What mentoring is and how it relates to other interventions such as coaching, teaching and counselling.

  • How to use powerful questioning, listening and rapport to build effective mentoring relationships.

  • How to apply useful models in mentoring interactions.

The workshop will be interactive and allow participants to test out models and approaches in a safe space.

Dates

10.02.20, 1.30pm-4.30pm - Book here

19.05.20, 1.30pm-4.30pm - Book here

Lancaster Mentoring Community Support Group

Ongoing support and skills for those who are mentoring others, creating a supportive network for practising mentors at the different stages of the mentoring relationship.

Mentors will have the opportunity to:

  • reflect on their own practice

  • share experiences and learn from each other

  • explore new techniques and models

  • receive support and guidance on any problems encountered

    Date

    OED are currently busy scheduling the dates for next term, and will publish these in due course.

For more information on coaching and mentoring at Lancaster, please email OED

Tab Content: Becoming a mentor

Becoming a mentor

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.

Role of the Mentor

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.

What makes a good Mentor

A good mentor, has certain experiences and qualities, ask your self “Do I …”.

  • have a strong desire to help others to grow and develop?
  • understand the University and how it works (formally and informally), know and understand the key players.
  • have any Leadership and Management experience and success.

Time Committment and Practicalities

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:

  • Make yourself available and accessible to your mentee. You will contract to meet every so often and you should ensure that you can honour that commitment.
  • Provide some initial structure to the mentoring relationship, particularly where the mentee is relatively inexperienced. For example, you may ask them to identify some objectives which they wish to achieve, and ask them to suggest a review and evaluation process to monitor ongoing progress.
  • Follow through on any actions you pickup in your meetings, thereby demonstrating to the mentee your commitment and your professionalism: ‘do as I do’ is a good motto for the mentor.

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. 

Next steps

To find details of the Odessey mentoring support programme please click on the above tab this lists skills training and support sessions for mentors and mentees. 

If you are currently looking to mentor others, please have a chat to your line manager as they may well be aware of colleagues who are looking for this kind of support.

For more information contact OED. 

Tab Content: Becoming a mentee

Becoming a mentee

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.

Choosing a Mentor

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. If you aren't sure if this is appropriate for you or would like to ensure you get eh most out of menting then the Odyssey mentoring support programme may help. See tab above. 

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.

Starting the Mentoring Relationship

It is important that you spend time at your first meeting to agree a Mentoring 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!

Practicalities and time committment

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 mentoring is the most appropriate activity to support this development need or whether some other form of development would be a better option.

Next steps 

See tab to find details of the Odessey mentoring support programme. 

Talk to your line manager and colleagues to help you find an appropriate mentor.

For more information contact OED.