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Mentoring in a Changing Environment: A Guide for University Staff
What is Mentoring?
Mentoring is a learning relationship which helps people to take charge of their own development, to release their potential and to achieve results which they value.
Off-line help by one person to another in making significant transitions in knowledge, work or thinking.
At its heart, mentoring is a co-operative and nurturing relationship between a more experienced staff member and one who is less so.
A mentor can be described as a role model, guide, buddy, confidant(e), transitional figure or a “critical friend”; someone who can provide constructively critical support and help at work. The aim of a mentoring relationship is to facilitate insight, learning and change. Furthermore, mentoring can help to motivate, facilitate and/or support individuals and can help to build confidence or independence and this can be particularly valuable during times of organisational or personal change.
Is there a difference between Mentoring and Coaching?
There can be some overlap and the terms can be used interchangeably. However, coaching is usually short term, purposeful and works on a specific issue. Whereas mentoring is usually medium to longer term and may work on career development skills more generally; the salient feature is the importance of the relationship, including the personal qualities or experience that the mentor brings and is willing to share. Mentors will often use a coaching style in their approach.