Coaching and mentoring are both supportive relationships wherein a colleague is empowered in making informed and proactive choices about resolving problems, planning their future, and building their career.
A trained and qualified coach can be anyone inside or outside of Queen Mary, who will work with someone over a defined period (usually around 6 sessions). A mentor is usually someone who is in a role their mentee aspires to, and will form a longer developmental relationship with that person.
What Is Coaching?
Coaching assists an individual in bridging the gap between where they are now and where they would like to be.
A coach achieves this by:
- Helping to raise the awareness of the individual with powerful questioning techniques so they can get clear on what they truly desire and who they are at their core
- Assisting them to create practical, step-by-step action plans to reach their goals
- Providing the individual with tools, techniques and strategies to create lasting change and success
A coach is not a counsellor, a therapist, a mentor or a consultant. A coach will focus on future possibilities rather than past mistakes; this is achieved with tried and tested techniques that qualify them to assist an individual in exploring their goals and ambitions. Workplace coaching can be used to help with specific issues at work such as relationships or managing workload, or for longer-term issues such as career development or career planning.
Coaching at Queen Mary University of London
We have a network of qualified coaches who are able to support staff from any area of the university, no matter the role. As of 2017 we are also part of a collaboration with Regent’s University, the University of Greenwich, SOAS and LSE. This relationship enables a limited number of individuals to receive coaching support from qualified coaches from the partner universities.
To apply for coaching, please complete the Coaching Request Form.
Are you interested in becoming a qualified coach?
It may be possible for you to complete the Coaching Professional Level 5 Apprenticeship and achieve a widely recognised coaching qualification.
Through one-to-one confidential conversations the mentee is encouraged and challenged to achieve their career potential and aspirations. It can be useful at all stages of a career.
Mentoring has proved to have a beneficial impact on effectiveness, confidence and career advancement. It has advantages both for the mentor and mentee. For the mentor it can help with developing leadership skills and for the mentee they can access a colleague’s experience, gaining advice and guidance.
Mentors encourage, nurture and provide support to a mentee, usually through a 12-month period. They draw on their own experience and knowledge base within a specific area. Mentoring involves the use of the same models and skills of questioning, listening, clarifying and reframing associated with coaching. However, it is important to note that the timescales for mentoring are usually longer, and a mentor will offer their own experiences and expertise to support the mentee. By contrast, a coach will focus on helping their coachee identify their own options and actions.
How To Find A Mentor
Queen Mary does not run a central mentoring scheme to partner mentors with mentees. Instead, we strongly encourage you to use your own networks to find a mentor. Here are some tips:
- Consider your personal goals. What do you want to get out of your mentoring relationship? This will help you to identify a mentor who will be able to help you, perhaps because they have achieved similar goals themselves.
- When meeting a potential mentor, treat that first meeting as an opportunity to get to know them better. Don't ask them to mentor you until you're confident that a mentoring relationship with this person will be a productive one.
- Make sure you and your mentor have the same expectations around how often you're going to catch up, how you'll communicate, etc. As a mentee, be respectful of the time that your mentor is investing in you.
If you're interested in mentoring someone else, make sure that people in your network are aware of it! They can let their own colleagues and friends know that you want to become a mentor.
We have also put together some guidelines for those seeking academic career progression. Mentoring can support academic colleagues to progress their careers, by asking a more senior colleague to provide advice and act as a sounding board and role model. This guide, available below, provides some tips for mentees and mentors to get the most out of this relationship.
Mentoring Staff Apprentices
All apprentices require a workplace mentor. Usually, the mentor is someone other than the apprentice's line manager who has experience and knowledge in the area that the apprentice is training in. The mentor should be able to provide advice and support in relation to learning and evidencing the Knowledge, Skill and Behavioural requirements of the apprenticeship, details of which will be shared by a training provider.
The mentor can help a new starter (who was recruited as an apprentice) settle into their role, or support an upskilling apprentice (who has started their apprenticeship while already in post) to develop in their career.
As with all mentoring at Queen Mary, it is not necessary to have formal training to be an apprenticeship mentor. However, if you are a mentor to an apprentice, you may be interested in gaining a qualification in mentoring via the Learning Mentor Level 3 apprenticeship
If you would like to find out more about staff apprenticeships, please see the Staff Apprenticeships webpages for more information.
If you have been a mentor to a staff apprentice and would like to share your experience with others, please complete the Staff Apprenticeship Case Study form and your profile will be added to the Staff Apprenticeships webpage.
Some of our past and present mentors have kindly agreed to be profiled for this page - find out more about their roles, their career journeys, and what advice they have to share. If you are, or would like to become, a mentor for Queen Mary colleagues you can also share your own profile!
The Queen Mary Staff Mentor Network
If you are currently coaching a colleague at Queen Mary or another institution, or aspire to do so in the future, the Staff Mentor Network on Teams is available for you to join. Updates are made monthly on developing your skills as a mentor, and members are encouraged to start open discussions about the practice of mentoring.
Find Out More
'Introduction to Mentoring' is a short workshop run approximately once per semester, according to demand. You can find it on our course booking system by searching for Course Code PD217.