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The University has launched the University of Liverpool Mentor Network.
The network is open to all University employees and features an online self-service mentoring system, along with valuable development opportunities and ongoing support.
Unlike a manager-employee relationship, mentoring is led by the mentee. Current mentor Professor Paula Williamson explained the difference: “My role as mentor is to be a sounding board. I try to ask questions of the mentee that I would ask myself, promoting a reflective approach, and I will offer my opinion if it is sought. I distinguish this from my role as a Supervisor, in which I am more likely to direct the work myself.”
Staff who choose to become mentors gain many benefits. Discussing her mentoring experience, Dr Janet Risk said: “I find mentoring very rewarding, not only in terms of providing support to my mentee, but also through the broadening of my own knowledge and the opportunity to discuss diverse projects.”
There are also numerous rewards for mentees taking part in the programme, like Angela Foxcroft. She said: “My mentor offers constant encouragement, while challenging my ideas and assumptions and offering alternative ways to approach situations and opportunities. It’s great to benefit from the experience of someone who has been working in the sector and developing their career for a lot longer than I have.”
Asked if she would recommend mentoring to others, Angela said: “If you get the opportunity to be mentored you should take it. You really have nothing to lose.”
How does it work?
Mentors and Mentees complete an online registration to join the network and are then given access to the network portal.
Mentees are able to view available mentor profiles and can self-select a mentor based on their development needs.
When both parties agree to start a mentoring relationship, a form is completed to confirm the development goals and expected duration of the partnership.
An online portal hosts guides and links to information and articles about mentoring to help both mentors and mentees.
In addition, mentors are encouraged to attend a training day. The aim is to clarify the role of the mentor, provide guidance on managing a mentor relationship and demonstrate the skills and techniques required for a successful partnership.
Mentors will also be invited to attend lunchtime Network meetings, which will provide a forum for sharing best practice and ongoing development around different themes and aspects of managing mentor relationships.
For further information and to register, please visit the Organisational Development web pages.
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