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Mentoring and coaching support
Mentors are more senior staff who, unlike coaches, use their experience to provide advice and guidance to help staff solve problems, plan career development and provide insight into difficulties and opportunities. Currently we can help arrange internal mentoring where possible and can also make use of a small but growing mentoring network with external organisations in and around Exeter.
Members of the network are drawn from across Professional Services (currently) and offer informal “coaching conversations” for staff who feel they can benefit from the experience of having a skilled listener and reflector for their ideas or concerns. The informal coaching relationship lasts for around three months with regular meetings negotiated between the coach and staff member.
The role of line managers
We encourage and support line managers to adopt a coaching role for their staff and to act as mentors in their own discipline, but not all line managers have the time to commit to dedicated coaching or mentoring sessions in addition to their regular responsibilities. Coaching can help particularly in situations where both team member and manager may feel there is an impasse or block to further progress. Mentoring is of particular value for staff who are developing in new roles or who wish to devleop themselves beyond their current role.
Applying for a coach or mentor
To help you identify whether a coach or mentor would help you, and to help pin down expectations there is an application process.
Applications for coaching or mentoring are made through Staff Learning and Development and can come from either the staff member or their line manager (with the staff member’s agreement). The application form includes a section for line managers to add a supporting statement but it is not essential for line managers to sign-off these applications.
Staff are reminded, however, that where time away from their work is requested for coaching or mentoring, that this is first agreed with their line manager.