An introduction to mentoring
What is mentoring?
Typically, mentoring is a one-to-one learning relationship designed to support you with the quality of your thinking, decision-making and growth, facilitated by purposeful interaction with a mentor.
Mentoring is increasingly viewed as an individual learning and development tool for individuals with a wide range of capabilities and needs.
Mentoring can focus on career and professional development, in addition to psychosocial aspects for example:
- Career and professional development focus might include transition, change, navigating the ecosystem system, politics and conflict, stretch and challenge opportunities. This may lead to the exploration of psychosocial needs.
- Psychosocial focus might include exploring self-identity, resilience, confidence, and self-esteem which may ultimately have positive career and professional outcomes.
Research shows that through mentoring, we frequently become more aware of our potential; gain greater clarity about ourselves and our ecosystem; and achieve greater self-belief, self-motivation, confidence and support to achieve our aspirations. Critical conversations between a mentee and their mentor are often pivotal in creating shifts in perspective, knowledge and understanding.
Often, successful mentoring relationships enhance personal and career development. Mentoring can help and support mentees to manage their learning to maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be.
Questions to consider
- Reflecting on the outline above, how might mentoring assist you with a shift in perspective, knowledge or understanding?
- Reflecting on any previous experience you have of mentoring, either as a mentor or mentee, how did you benefit most?
- To what extent do you think mentoring might benefit you? What will you do next?
To find out more you may wish to consult the following resources: