What is mentoring?


Defining Mentoring

Mentoring is a supporting form of development which focuses on helping individuals to manage their career and improve their skills. It describes a relationship in which a more experienced colleague uses their knowledge and understanding of the work or workplace to support the development of staff. Mentoring is a well-established and effective form of training, learning and development and an increasingly utilised way of supporting personal and professional development.

Mentoring is:

"To support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be." (E. Parsloe, Coaching, Mentoring and Assessing: A Practical Guide to Developing Competence (London, 1995))

"A process of influencing and fostering the intellectual development of others." (A. Darwin and E. Palmer, 'Mentoring Circles in Higher Education', Higher Education Research and Development, xxviii (2009))

"In its most basic form...the transfer of knowledge and experience for mutual benefit. It is one of the most powerful methods of developing skills and talent." (Clutterbuck Associates (www.clutterbuckassociates.co.uk))

Mentoring across the University

A range of mentoring programmes exist across the University. Schemes are in place for students and ad-hoc formal and informal schemes operate for staff in many departments, specifically for new academics as part of their probation.

For further Information about mentoring programmes, please see the link to the right of this page.

For any advice or guidance on using these resources please contact Futures Mentoring on futuresmentoring@sheffield.ac.uk .

Further Reading

CIPD - Mentoring Factsheet

Matuszek, Self and Schraeder - 'Mentoring in an Increasingly Global Workplace´

The Times – `Someone to Watch Over Me´