(c) Cureton (2011) University of Wolverhampton
This work book provides information about mentoring relationships; it
includes exercises to consolidate your prior experience and gained
knowledge, opportunities to reflect and develop your mentoring practice.
How to get the
most out of
What Happens Next?
How do I become involved?
The process starts when a mentor or mentee approaches the scheme. When a mentor
approaches the scheme, they meet with the scheme co-ordinator for a discussion about
their mentoring experience and their work based skills. The co-ordinator makes some notes
about the areas that the mentor would like to help develop in others. Next the mentor is
invited to a two day training course provided by the university. Once the course is
completed, the mentors details are added to a database after which the mentor will be
matched to a suitable mentee. This can take a little while, so when a match becomes
available, the co-ordinator will contact the mentor to ensure they have time available to
take on a mentee. The mentor will be provided with some information about the
developmental needs of the mentee that the co-ordinator proposes to match them to. If the
mentor is happy to work with the mentee, the co-ordinator will email the mentee with the
mentors contact details and ask them to arrange a meeting to see if they can work together.
If both are happy to work with each other the co-ordinator will formalise the match.
When a mentee contacts the mentoring scheme, they are also invited to a meeting with the
scheme co-ordinator. This is an informal chat about what the scheme offers and how the
mentee would like to be involved. During this meeting the co-ordinator takes a few notes to
help them match the mentee to a suitable mentor. Once this is completed the co-ordinator
identifies a suitable mentor and contacts the mentee with their details, so that the mentee
can organise a meeting. If both mentor and mentee are happy, then the relationship is
Mentoring relationships are either short term or long term, depending on the needs of the
mentee. Short term relationships are 3 - 4 sessions with one of the scheme's coaches. These
are staff members who have independently trained as a coach or counsellor and are
volunteering their time to provide coaching with the scheme. These sessions aim to set
direction or provide quick fixes to simple hurdles faced by a mentee. A solution focused
approach is adopted in these sessions. Long term relationships last for 12 months and the
mentor provides support and information for the mentee as they develop new skills or work
towards career progression.
Who is responsible for setting up the first Meeting?
The mentee
What do I do if the mentoring relationship is not working?
If the mentoring relationship is not working, for whatever reason, contact the Mentoring Coordinator, who will organise for the current relationship to be closed down and will rematch
both mentor and mentee into new relationships.
Both mentor and mentee will be sent mentoring contracts by the mentoring co-ordinator.
These must be completed and returned to the co-ordinator who will keep them on file. The
Who will document the mentoring contract?
Mentoring Co-orindator will ask mentor to read and sign their contract during the two day
training sessions that they must attend. A mentee will be asked to sign their contract when
they have been matched. Their mentor will provide them with the documentation, which
the mentee will sign and return to the Mentoring Coordinator. The mentor will also be
expected to work with the mentee to produce a set of aims, which they will record in the
'Mentoring Aims Document' and return to the Mentoring Co-ordinator.
How long will a typical mentoring session be?
Mentors have 10 hours to use over a 12 month period. The use of these hours should be
negotiated between mentor and mentee, dependant on the work they are doing.
How often should we meet?
Again this should be negotiated between mentor and mentee. This often depends on the
stage you are at in the relationship. It is usual to meet more often at the beginning of a
relationship, but not as often as the mentee engages in work they need to do in order to
I've asked for a Mentor, what happens next?
After meeting with the Mentoring Co-ordinator to discuss your needs, you will be contacted
when a match becomes available. You will be provided with your proposed Mentor's contact
details. Contact them and arrange a convenient time for an introductory meeting. During
this meeting you should discuss what it is you would like from your mentoring relationship,
negotiate the ground rules of the relationship and decide whether you would like to work
with this Mentor.
If you are happy to work with your proposed Mentor, please inform them so. After this you
and your Mentor will negotiate a set of aims, benchmarks, timelines and review dates for
your mentoring relationship. The will be documented in a Mentoring Aims Document, signed
and a copy will be returned to the Mentoring Co-ordinator.
You will work with your Mentor to achieve the aims you have identified. Once these aims
are met you should discuss closing your mentoring relationship with your Mentor and
inform the Mentoring Co-ordinator that you are closing your mentoring relationship.
Finally, you will complete a Mentee Exit Questionnaire, which ask questions about your
mentoring experience and the outcomes of your relationship.
What should I do to prepare for a mentoring session?
follow up on actions from the previous meeting and send a status to the mentor
do background work on the area you wish to focus on in the mentoring session
send the mentor an outline of what you want to cover during the mentoring session
send any documents for review or discussion to mentor at least week in advance of
the meeting
What if I am not prepared for a mentoring meeting?
If you are not prepared then you should re-schedule meeting.
What should I do if I don't understand the feedback I am getting from my mentor?
You should tell the mentor and ask them to clarify, mentoring is about learning and
exploring so asking questions is expected!
Mentoring – The Basics
Mentoring is:
a relationship which encourages people to ‘grow, learn, thrive and excel when organisations
make provision for particular and specific interpersonal support at key times’ (Cross, 1998).
provide ‘..learning relationships which help people to take charge of their own development,
to release their potential and to achieve results which they value’ (Connor and Pokora, 2007).
are skilled professionals who are willing to listen, learn and share their experiences and
mentoring desires with their mentor. They make time for their mentoring relationship and
invest in themselves through investing in the mentoring process.
What past experience have you had of supportive
· How was the support provided?
What experience of mentoring have you had?
· Was it as a mentor or a mentee?
Do these descriptions of mentoring, mentors and mentees
differ from your understanding?
Types of mentoring
There are several approaches to mentoring which are outlined below.
North American
European models
of Mentoring
Group Mentoring
Team Mentoring
E- Mentoring
Models of
mentor providing
mentoring to a
less experienced
Mentors and
mentees have a
designated place
to meet at the
work place. No
off site meetings
occur. Meetings
occur in a safe,
conducted via the
Can be a
where screening
and matching are
extensive and
Technical training
may also be
Can be peer
mentor, where
mentor and
mentee have
similar levels of
experience, or
One experienced
mentoring up to
four less
Several mentors
working with
several less
Mentoring via email and the
Emails should be
archived and
Mentor is the
expert who
support the
mentee’s learning
process, goals
Mentor is
and skilled. They
are a coach and
positive role
model for
mentee. It is
accepted that
both mentor and
mentee will learn
from the process
and duration
of meetings
Contact is made
when necessary
and may be ‘open
Meetings last 45–
60 minutes on a
regular basis
agreed at start of
Meetings last 45–
60 minutes on a
regular basis
agreed at start of
Interactions are
guided by the
session structure,
personal sharing
and team
Mentor provides
support and
via internet and
Meetings last 45–
60 minutes on a
regular basis
agreed at start of
Contact is made
when necessary
and may be ‘open
Nature of
Training is
essential. Or
naturally arising
mentoring where
mentor or
mentee identifies
a need.
Roles and Responsibilities of the Mentee
Specific mentee responsibilities
Mentoring is a learning relationship and you should be open-minded to the
possibility of learning from your mentor and the mentoring relationship.
Knowing what you want is part of the way to achieving it; so knowing what goals and
goal related information, support and guidance you would like from your mentoring
relationship will help you achieve your ultimate professional development goals.
You are responsible for making contact with your appointed mentor and arranging
your initial meeting.
Joint mentor and mentee responsibilities
Setting relationship boundaries and negotiated relationship aims ensures that both
mentor and mentee have a similar expectation of the mentoring relationship. Both
mentor and mentee will negotiate the boundaries and goals of the mentoring
The frequency, timing, length of meetings and meeting place should be negotiated
at the beginning of the relationship.
Both the mentor and mentee have a responsibility to ensure that the information
disclosed within the mentoring relationship and any notes taken about the
mentoring relationship remain confidential.
Mentor and mentee have a responsibility to work towards and achieve, where
possible, their mentoring goals.
Both mentor and mentee should respect each other’s’ time outside the mentoring
relationship and make every effort to attend the meeting that has been arranged. If
attending an arranged meeting is not possible, contact should be made with the
other party and another meeting should be rearranged. Please give as much notice
as possible when postponing a mentoring meeting.
If the mentoring relationship isn’t working, the mentor and mentee should discuss
this and decide whether, or not, to close down the match. If the mentoring
relationship is closed down, Debra Cureton-Woodward will be able to arrange
another mentoring match.
Accept responsibility for their learning
Be open to new ideas and ways of learning
Communicate effectively and ask for
clarification when needed
Where appropriate, ask for help from the
mentoring coordinator
Accept feedback
Give feedback
Tip: An effective mentee will:
Mentoring - Process
The life cycle of a mentoring relationship
No matter how the approach is taken towards mentoring, the relationship progresses
through similar stages as shown here in the comparison Zachary’s North American model of
mentoring and Megginson et al’s European model of mentoring. For more details about
approaches to mentoring see ‘Types of Mentoring’ page 2
et al (2006)
Rapport Building/
Setting Direction
Winding up
Moving on
In order to get the most from your mentoring relationship you may wish to consider what
occurs during each stage of the mentoring life cycle. Tips for the mentee will be included in
each section.
This is a time for ensuring that you are prepared for the mentoring relationship. It is mentee
driven; the mentee is responsible for ensuring that they are prepared for meeting with their
Mentees may wish to think about:
What you want from mentoring.
What you want the mentoring relationship to be like
– approach, ground rules
What goals you will set.
How you will know when you have achieved them.
What time lines you might work to.
Negotiation/Rapport Building &Setting Direction
This is a time when the mentor and mentee get to know each other while they work
together to identify the mechanics of the relationship. During this stage they negotiate:
ground rules
bench marks
time lines
when to review your progress
an exit strategy
As a mentee, you may want to consider the questions below:
What are your ultimate developmental goals?
What do you want from mentoring in relation to these goals?
Can you break these down into smaller goals?
How are you going to know when you have achieved these goals?
You may also want to think about the qualities of the relationship you wish to build. This will
include how you build rapport with your mentor and how your relationship will transpire.
You may wish to reflect on past mentoring, or supportive, relationships you have enjoyed or
How might you build rapport with your mentor?
What sort of information are you happy to disclose to your
What sort of relationship would you like?
Would you like the relationship to be formal?
Would you like the relationship to be informal?
Where would you feel comfortable meeting?
How often would you like to meet?
How long do you anticipate the mentoring relationship
would like to change, whilst considering the questions below:
This is the doing stage of the mentoring relationship and again it is mentee driven. With the
support and guidance of your mentor, you will be working towards achieving the goal that
you have set. You and your mentor will identify small steps that you might take towards
your goals which you will put into action. During this stage you will also:
Meeting mentoring deadlines you and your mentor have negotiated
Review & re-evaluation the work that you and your mentor have undertaken
Negotiating hurdles that you meet while you work towards your goals
Achieving what you have set out to do.
Good communication skills are essential during this stage; you may wish to consider the tips
for communication on page 11.
Closure/ Winding up and Moving On
The closure stage can be difficult, even when the end of the relationship is mutually agreed.
Closure is an inevitable part of formalised mentoring relationships, which usually end once
specific goals have been achieved or particular work experiences has been completed.
Mentee, as well as mentors, approaching closure may experience feelings of separation or
loss. People who have difficulty ending relationships should be aware this might cause them
difficulties. As mentioned in ‘negotiating’ an exit plan can be useful to ensure that both you
and your mentor have similar expectations and understandings of the closure process.
David Megginson (2006) also points-out that there is an important difference between
‘winding up’ a mentoring relationship and ‘moving on’ from the relationship. Winding a
relationship up involves dealing with all of the closure issues: both practical and emotional.
Moving on from a relationship has a different psychological focus as it involves a change of
identity for you and your mentor as you will no longer be mentor and mentee to each other.
As part of this process you may wish to discuss with your mentor who you will be to each
other in the future. Moving on also
involves a psychological move from
Tips -
mentee to expert in their own right. Again,
this may be something you wish to discuss
with your mentor before you bring the
mentoring relationship to an end.
As you approach the end of your
mentoring relationship you also may wish
to consider the questions below:
Mentees may wish to consider:
As you approach closure you should be:
reviewing your exit strategy
putting your exit strategy into action
identifying what comes next and thinking about how to do it
reflecting on the emotional and psychological aspect of the change
in relationship status
How do you feel about the ending of relationships?
How has the closure of previous mentoring relationships made you
How do you anticipate the closure of mentoring relationship will
affect you?
Will you encounter any uncomfortable feelings when you face closing
down and moving on from your mentoring relationship? If so, what
might they be? How will you deal with them?
Mentoring - Skills
Fostering a successful relation
Encourage a respectful relationship
Set clear mentoring goals and objectives
Adopt good communication skills
Use feedback
Engage in the mentoring process
Be willing to learn
Build rapport
Be reflective
Organise your thoughts.
Try and separate fact from feelings
o Discuss the facts
o If you talk about your feelings be objective not emotional.
Plan for all eventualities – what questions might be asked of you? What reaction might
this elicit? What direction might the conversation take?
Be aware of non-verbal cues.
Good Communication
Keep it simple – convey your message as simply as you can.
Don’t mind read, always ask for clarification.
Give the listener time to reflect on what has been said.
Listen to what the listener has to say
Rules for good feedback
Be honest
Be specific
Be respectful
Give balanced feedback – balance negative information with positive feedback
Be constructive
Formulate feedback to the receiver
Ensure feedback informs and not directs or advise
Don’t be emotional
Don’t be judgmental
Don’t be patronising
Don’t make it personal
Don’t rush it
Tips for good listening
Be alert
Don’t be judgmental
Listen to what is being said, don’t talk
Use non-verbal communication to indicate that you are listening
Don’t interrupt
Ask questions when it is appropriate
‘Nature gave man two ears but only one tongue, which is a gentle hint that he should listen
more than he talks!” by Unknown
Questioning skills
Effective questioning is at the heart of mentoring. There are several types of questioning
that you might like to use:
Open questions
usually beginning with what, why, how,
Asks for knowledge, opinion or feelings. "
Examples are: What happened at the meeting? How did he react to that?
Use open questions to:
Encourage the mentee to talk
To help you see and hear things from their perspective,
To allow them to have more control of the agenda
Closed questions:
These usually elicit a single word or very short, factual answer.
Examples are: “Would you like a coffee?”, “Do you have a bicycle?”
Use closed questions to:
Test your understanding,
Discourage the other person from talking by appearing to restrict their options
Try to be sparing in your use of closed questions, they can damage rapport.
Probing Questions:
This type of questioning usually seeks further information and focus on what has already
been said.
An example is : “You say you enjoyed your last project, which aspect of the work gave you
the most satisfaction?”
Use probing questions to:
follow up and obtain more detail.
draw out more information about specific points,
aim for depth rather than breadth of information.
What things do you want to remember for when you go to your
Rapport building
Ground rules
Exit strategy
Other things
initial meeting with you mentor?

Mentee help book - University of Wolverhampton