Mentoring at Queen's
Queen’s staff have access to a range of existing mentoring schemes, including those organised centrally, e.g. gender initative schemes and postdoc group mentoring and also within university schools. These schemes may differ in the groups of staff who participate but they will have similar mentoring goals, focusing on:
- Providing guidance and support for staff
- Promoting a productive working environment for staff
- Providing an opportunity for personal and career development
Example mentoring schemes:
QGI – Mentoring for Leadership (academic/research)
QGI - Leadership Mentoring Scheme: Professional support
Mentoring is also available via school-based schemes. Please check with your manager or school colleagues for further information.
What is Mentoring
Mentoring is a powerful personal development and empowerment tool which helps staff gain a better understanding of their working environment and how to progress in their careers. It should be driven primarily by the mentee, with mentoring supporting the mentee to take responsibility for their own development. The mentor acts as a guide, supporter, sounding board and, sometimes, as a role model.
One-to-one mentoring is based on a positive supportive and confidential relationship, which helps to facilitate a wide range of learning and development, focused on the mentee but also enabling the mentor to develop their communication and people skills. Mentoring relationship should typically be outside the direct line management relationship
Mentoring schemes will match a person with relevant experience (the mentor) to the staff member who can benefit from that experience (the mentee). Mentoring should be a voluntary scheme, which is well described by Hale (2000):
“an experienced individual, outside the reporting relationship, holds regular meetings and discussions and takes a personal interest in guiding and supporting the development of a less experienced person in progressing within and beyond their immediate role”.
Mentoring involves staff building relationships that will provide guidance, support, advise to build knowledge, capability and self-reliance, with a focus on reviewing and developing career plans.
"Mentoring involves listening with empathy, sharing experience (usually mutually), professional friendship, developing insight through reflection, being a sounding board, and encouraging." David Clutterbuck (2014)
There are two main types of mentoring:
- Developmental mentoring – this is where the mentor is helping the mentee develop new skills and abilities. The mentor is a guide and a resource for the mentee's growth.
- Sponsorship mentoring – this is when the mentor is more of a career influencer than a guide. In this situation, the mentor takes a close interest in the progress of the mentee. The mentor "opens doors", influencing others to help the mentee advancement.
Mentoring schemes can support:
- specifically identified groups
- development and work-based learning programmes
- individuals or organisations through change or transition
- improved effectiveness of organisations and individuals.