What is mentoring?
At Durham, mentoring is defined as 'an informal and supportive relationship whereby a more experienced member of staff undertakes to help a new member of staff to learn his/her job and understand its context within the University. This echoes the sentiments of Megginson & Clutterbuck (1995) who describe mentoring as, "off-line help by one person to another in making significant transitions in knowledge, work or thinking."
All mentoring relationships are unique and as such a mentor can provide support in a number of ways such as:
|Sounding Board||to test ideas and suggestions on|
|Facilitator||to be able to point to potential opportunities, arrange introductions|
|Advisor||to provide objective advice on a range of issues, including career opportunities|
|Coach||to directly assist the mentee to improve a specific skill|
|Expert||to act as a source of technical/professional knowledge|
|Source of organisational material||to be able to explain University policies, culture, values|
|Role model||to promote and encourage positive behaviours in others|
|Source of feedback||to provide constructive feedback|
|Confidant||to express fears and concerns to|
|Motivator||to encourage the achievement of goals and boost morale|
|Challenger||to challenge assumptions and encourage alternative thinking|
- Mentoring: An Overview, by Mike Munro Turner (last modified: 4 February 2010)