Facilitating learning in practice
Facilitating learning in practice

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Facilitating learning in practice

Week 4: Relationships – the heart of effective mentoring


This week you will explore the factors that can contribute to forming a successful relationship with your students. Setting goals and challenges for them is an important part of the relationship, so your learning from last week about skill acquisition and attainment of competence is essential to determine goals that are realistic, achievable and appropriate to their stage of learning.

You will also look at aspects of the relationship that can cause conflict. Nurse mentors have to assess the students that they are supporting, so being confident to give negative feedback that is constructive and developmental is fundamental to your professional mentoring relationship.

In the following video, Fiona Dobson introduces Week 4 and reminds you about the badge quiz at the end of this week.

Download this video clip.Video player: flip_week_4.mp4
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Welcome to Week 4 of your studies and well done for reaching the midpoint of the course.

Whatever you do in life is dependent on the relationships you have with others. Sometimes their contributions will be invisible. For example, the music that you listen to on the way to work or the vegetables that you buy on the way home. But sometimes their contributions are far more evident. Your friend’s arm around your shoulders when you’re feeling sad or the colleague at work who’s willing to put time aside to discuss a knotty problem with you.

Being an effective mentor requires you to be visible and to interact effectively with others. So establishing relationships with colleagues inside and beyond the organisation is just as important as the relationships that you establish with your students.

You’ll have the opportunity to explore this through activities during this week’s learning.

But before you move on to those activities I want to remind you that this is the week where you take the first of the two badged quizzes. This will give you the opportunity to undertake and review your learning across the last four weeks of the course. And don’t forget if you’re using this course as formal preparation to become a mentor then you must undertake the badged quiz.

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Mentorship programme

If you are completing this course as part of a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) mentor preparation programme, the materials and activities in this week’s study relate primarily to the following NMC domains:

  • Establishing effective working relationships
  • Assessment and accountability.

After this week you should be able to:

  • identify eight key components that contribute to effective mentoring
  • analyse the impact of your own and others’ non-verbal communication on maintaining effective relationships
  • give feedback in a way that is motivational and developmental
  • plan your own support networks that underpin your maintenance of competence as a mentor.

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