The University of Kent is committed to the career development and support of all its staff, and recognises the value of having access to informal, constructively critical and supportive mentoring can have to the ongoing development of an organisational culture that values depth and continuity of knowledge, encourages continuous learning, is inclusive and welcomes diversity, promotes creativity and takes a positive approach to change.
These mentoring web pages have been designed to provide information to all members of staff, mentors, mentees, Heads of Departments and Professional services, about the various existing University wide approaches to mentoring, and the new Learning and Development Kent Staff Mentoring Scheme.
What is Mentoring?
Mentoring is a mutually beneficial, supportive relationship, whereby a more experienced member of staff in a particular area, activity or task facilitates and supports another member of staff. It can motivate, support and help individuals to build confidence and develop critical thinking; this can be particularly valuable during times of change and in identifying individual career goals.
“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.”
Connor and Pokora, 2007 (p6)
Anyone can be a mentor; the salient feature is the importance of the relationship itself, including the personal qualities and experience that the mentor brings and is willing to share.
Mentor Skills and Mentoring Benefits
Qualities and Skills of a good Mentor
- actively listens
- offers encouragement
- provide guidance and constructive feedback with sensitivity
- demonstrates a positive attitude and acts as a positive role model
- willingness to share their own experience, knowledge and expertise
- values ongoing learning
- supports individuals to stay on track and reach their goals
- approachable, reliable and committed
- non-judgmental and neutral
- respects and understands the importance of confidentiality
Benefits for Mentors:
- facilitate self-reflection
- share experiences and expertise
- support and understand change
- refresh existing skills and development of new ideas
- improve communication
- acquiring new knowledge
- extending networks
- provide motivation and enrichment
- gaining personal satisfaction
Benefits for Mentees:
- support change - personal or organisational
- build confidence
- broaden horizons and experiences
- encourage reflection
- gain new insights and perspectives
- raising aspirations
- improve performance and understanding
- identify and achieve career goals
- access to constructive feedback