"Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction"
John C. Crosby
Mentoring is a relationship of mutual trust where an experienced individual shares knowledge, skills and information to foster the personal and professional growth of someone who is less experienced.
The Pipeline Inclusive Mentoring Scheme (PIMS) adopts an inclusive mentoring approach and is open to all staff (academic and professional services/support) and postgraduate students (PGR/PhD) at the University who wish to develop their careers, improve their working environment, expand their understanding, and take advantage of the mentoring opportunities offered. The scheme enables potential mentees to receive support and advice from more experienced colleagues, helping them to develop their careers, and understand and overcome any obstacles to career progression.
PIMS offers a range of both traditional and progressive pathways, providing tailored support for the challenges of contemporary HEI environments.
Inclusive mentoring pathways
- PhD career development
- Professional services career development
- Subject-specific career development (academic)
- General career development (academic)
- Research development
- Inclusive teaching development
- Business / consultancy development
- Senior leadership
- Reverse mentoring (for managers and senior leaders)*
- Work-life balance
- Cultural challenges
- Maternity / long-term leave
Role of the mentor
A mentor is often defined as a professional friend or supportive challenger.
The role of a mentor is to provide a mentee with support that will encourage them to find their own solutions and tackle problems effectively. A mentor should be a sounding board, someone to share ideas with and approach for help. A mentor needs to provide support by signposting a mentee into the right directions, often by challenging their assumptions.
* Reverse mentoring
Reverse or 'upward' mentoring, as the name might suggest, turns the traditional hierarchical approach to mentoring on its head. Whereas in traditional mentoring the mentor provides support and guidance to a less experienced member of staff, reverse mentoring places the more senior person as the mentee, and emphasises particular experiences or skills of the more junior person.
The objective of reverse mentoring is primarily to enable leaders and senior managers to stay in touch with their organisations and the outside world. There are two common objectives that have been successfully addressed through reverse mentoring:
- Advancing the technological skills and understanding of senior leaders (in a world where technological change is continuous)
- Educating senior leaders about diversity and inclusion issues within their organisation, and helping them to understand on a human level.
The advantages of reverse mentoring go both ways — more junior staff are given the opportunity to understand and be heard by more senior and experienced people in their organisation.
Benefits of mentoring
- Job enrichment
- Satisfaction of role modelling and sharing experiences
- Development of skills: coaching, management and counselling
- Increased motivation through shared experiences
- Development of skills, both personal and professional
- Identification of learning and development gaps
- Access to networks and organisational knowledge
For the University
- Demonstrates commitment to learning and development
- Improved communication across the organisation
- Increased motivation of all parties involved
- Helps develop diverse groups of staff and remove barriers that may hinder their success
PIMS programme schedule
Staff can register to join the programme (either as Mentees or Mentors) at any time, but the mentoring programmes are usually fixed and run on a biannual basis (Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer).
Programmes currently available are:
- September — March
- March — September
applying to be a mentor
Mentoring is a development opportunity that can be taken up by colleagues with substantial professional experience. A suitable person needs to be a good listener, who is committed to helping less experienced colleagues to achieve their professional goals and advance their careers.
Colleagues (female or male) who feel that they have a valuable experience to share with others and skills to take the role are encouraged to apply. Please download the registration form and send the completed form to PipelineMentoring@lincoln.ac.uk
applying to join the programme
Participation in PIMS can be beneficial for colleagues who wish to develop their personal and professional skills and progress their careers in HE.
Colleagues who are interested in advancing their careers, need advice on balancing work and family life, or developing their research portfolio, are encouraged to apply to join the programme. Please download the registration form and send the completed form to PipelineMentoring@lincoln.ac.uk
How it works
- On receipt of a completed mentee registration form, a matching exercise will be undertaken to ensure the development needs of the mentee are duly met.
- The mentor and mentee are both responsible for arranging their mentoring meetings in accordance with their individual preferences (whether face to face, via email, on the phone or using technology) and time restrictions.
- Objectives, expectations and boundaries should be agreed, and defined clearly in the Mentoring Contract, during the first mentor-mentee meeting (See the PIMS Handbook).
- After each mentoring meeting, a Progress Form should be completed by both the mentee and mentor.
- There are no strict time limits for the duration of the mentoring relationship, but PIMS is based on a period of 6 months, which will normally involve 4-6 meetings.
Contact the team: PipelineMentoring@lincoln.ac.uk