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Mentoring

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

Did you know...

The first recorded use of the word 'mentor' is in Homer's epic poem The Odyssey
(Mentoring: An Overview, Mike Munro Turner)