Mentoring – A Way of Learning

Aim

  • To support you to examine the idea and practice of mentoring further.

Individual action

1. Take a moment to consider or write down a definition of mentoring.

Print the activity sheet Definitions About Mentoring (pdf - 25.96kb) and compare these definitions to your response using the questions on the sheet.

2. Print the three-page information sheet, A Spotlight on Mentoring (pdf - 34.96kb) which gives a simple overview of mentoring.

Read and answer the questions on the sheet.

3. Many organisations and associations offer mentoring programs. Below is a list of just a few. To read more about these programs you may wish to visit:

  • The Australian Mentor Centre - this centre is the creation of Gillian Johnson who has been responsible for the design and development of national mentoring programs supporting tertiary nursing students, including conducting training for 100 mentors in 2004. The Royal College of Nursing, Australia has a number of innovative mentoring programs in which nursing students as well as practicing nurses in cities and rural areas are linked with experienced nurses and other health professionals. Among the purposes of these initiatives is to ensure that participants feel valued and remain in the field.
  • Mentoring Australia - the official website of the National Mentoring Association of Australia Inc.
  • MentorLink-Allied Health - set up by the Allied Health Professions Alliance (Victoria), it offers a facilitated mentoring program to allied health professions.
  • The Royal College of Nursing

For more references to mentoring see: Resources

Group action

1. To further challenge the definitions and understanding of mentoring, undertake the “Assumptions challenge”. Print the Statements About Mentoring (pdf - 23.88kb) and ask the participants to indicate whether they agree or disagree.

Nominate a person from your team to act in the role of facilitator. Print the Four Large Signs (pdf - 23.74kb) Agree, Disagree, Strongly Agree and Strongly Disagree. Place one sign in each corner.

Ask participants to move to the corner that most reflects their view. Those who are undecided go to the middle of the room. Participants put forward their view in their small groups and then to the whole group. Participants are given an opportunity to shift their position after listening to other participants’ views. The facilitator throughout the activity can draw out points of similarity and difference, and compare with the definitions that were examined individually.

2. The material A Spotlight on Mentoring (pdf - 34.96kb) could be distributed to staff to read prior to attending a workshop/discussion group. Each staff member would also complete the consider questions and bring these to a group discussion.