Mentoring

If you’re not sure of the difference between coaching and mentoring, visit the mentoring and coaching page

Mentoring is a form of one-to-one support where a more experienced colleague uses their knowledge, skills and connections to help someone with their current and future challenges.

A mentor is often described as a “critical friend” or “supportive challenger,” because they have a role in helping people become more self-aware and to take responsibility for solving their own problems. However, mentors are distinct from most coaches in that they have often walked the same path before, and use their own experience to support the mentee.

They may be able to help with general professional and career advice, or may have particular expertise that is relevant to the mentee’s situation. For example, they may be very successful at engaging industry in research, or at managing people, while the mentee is only starting to develop in those areas.

Read our mentoring guidelines for mentors and mentees which provide you with some general points about being a mentor and being mentored.

Members of staff are free to seek their own mentors, and it is expected that, where appropriate and where workloads permit, experienced staff should be prepared to support colleagues in this way. If you are having difficulty identifying a potential mentor or do not feel able to approach one, you should seek help from your manager or more senior managers in your department.

We do not currently have a scheme for Professional Services staff although this is being explored. Staff are free to seek their own mentors, and it is expected that where appropriate and where workloads permit, experienced staff should be prepared to support colleagues in this way. If you are having difficulty identifying a potential mentor or do not feel able to approach one, you should seek help from your manager or more senior managers in your department.

We provide training for Mentors.

There is a formal mentoring scheme in operation for academic and research staff in CLES under the banner of “One Step Beyond”. This model is also being explored by CEMPS. The University of Exeter Medical School is also planning a scheme (available from September 2016). Matching Mentors with Mentees is organised within Colleges.

Mentoring academic staff is an important part of the Academic Lead role. This may start from discussions during the annual Performance and Development Review (PDR) or when staff are new to the University.  New academic staff are assigned an Academic Lead when they join who will act as a mentor and PDR reviewer.

People Development support the 'One Step Beyond' scheme and PDR process by: