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Exploring career mentoring and coaching
Exploring career mentoring and coaching

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4 Who benefits from mentoring?

Described image
Figure 4 Sharing the benefits

Lots of people benefit from mentoring in different ways. For example, some value the opportunity to talk through their ideas with a ‘critical friend’, while others need the accountability that a mentor can provide.

Activity 4 Why mentoring matters

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes

Watch this video of people talking about why workplace mentors matter.

Why workplace mentors matter [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

In the box below, make a list of the key points expressed in the video.

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You might have highlighted the mentoring process, for example, comments about having a number of mentors, meeting regularly or working through a development plan.

Or you may have picked out comments that illustrate the benefits of mentoring, such as personal growth, the mentor also learning from the mentee, or having your own cheerleader!

The key point here is that different people will look for/provide/value different elements in each mentoring relationship. Finding the right mentor is key to getting what you need from the relationship, and you’ll look at how to do that in Week 5.

The following table, adapted from the work of McKimm, Jollie and Hatter (2007, p. 3), lists some of the benefits of mentoring, to the mentee, mentor and organisation.

Table 1 Benefits for mentees, mentors and organisations
  • Develops learning, analytical and reflective skills
  • Develops organisational and professional knowledge
  • Develops political awareness
  • Develops own practice
  • Develops or reinforces self-confidence and willingness to take risks
  • Develops ability to accept criticism
  • Broadens horizons
  • Increases job satisfaction
  • Offers opportunities for effective role modelling
  • Encourages ongoing learning and developing, and identifying learning opportunities in the working situation
  • Offers help with problem solving
  • Improves awareness of own learning gaps
  • Develops ability to give and take criticism
  • Develops up-to­date organisational and professional knowledge
  • Offers networking opportunities
  • Improves leadership, organisational and communication skills
  • Develops ability to challenge, stimulate and reflect
  • Raises profile within organisation
  • Increases job satisfaction
  • Offers opportunity to pass on knowledge and experience
  • Provides stimulation
  • May offer career advancement opportunities
  • Widening of skills base and competencies in line with the organisation’s strategic goals
  • Increased staff morale and job satisfaction
  • Develops habits of trust and confidentiality
  • Gives senior management a more informed view of the organisation’s talent
  • Use for succession planning
  • Helps achieve mission/vision
  • Develops a mature management population
  • Improved quality of service through increased competence and confidence of supported practitioners
  • Improves teamwork and co­operation

Many organisations run formal mentoring programmes to develop and support their workforce. For example, they may be aiming to:

  • offer orientation support to new staff
  • enhance morale during a time of change
  • develop staff who are currently under-achieving
  • develop staff who are considered to have potential – succession planning for the future
  • provide support for minority staff, for example, based on gender, ethnicity or disability.

In all these cases, the right kind of mentoring support can significantly enhance an individual’s workplace experience and career development.

Now that you’ve spent some time looking at what mentoring is, the next section will allow you to consider what mentoring is not!