What is mentoring?
Mentoring is about enhancing an individual staff member’s career development through a collaborative, knowledge-sharing relationship with another staff member who serves as their mentor. Mentoring provides career support and facilitates the transfer of knowledge and organizational culture.
|Benefits of participating in mentoring||For mentors
|Duration||The duration of the mentoring relationship should be agreed between the mentor and mentee. Mentoring may take place in a specified number of meetings or on an ongoing, open ended basis. Good mentoring relationships may last a lifetime.|
|Scope||Mentoring is possible:
|Mentoring objectives||Mentoring objectives should be agreed upon between mentee and mentor.|
|Agreement of confidentiality||During mentoring, mentors and mentees may share personal and professional information that could be confidential. Unless explicitly agreed, participating staff members are expected to treat such information confidentially.|
- Clarify your goals and expectations before looking for a mentor
- Be willing to share your hopes and concerns with your mentor
- Be proactive in the relationship: it’s about your career
- Prepare for each mentoring meeting
- Follow up on agreed actions
- Know what mentoring is not! It is not there to provide:
- All the answers or a guaranteed path to success
- Mediation between you and your manager
- Psychological counselling
- Go through your network and think about whether any of your contacts could be a potential mentor
- Ask your peers, team members or supervisor about suggestions for possible mentors; if they have someone in mind, ask them to introduce you
- Search Unite Connections, LinkedIn or other professional networking platforms to find a colleague whose background and experience may be relevant and interesting to you
- Once you have identified someone as a potential mentor, reach out to them to see if they are willing to discuss the possibility. Do not be discouraged if the first person you ask is not available.
- Consider becoming a mentor if you want to share your knowledge and experience, if you enjoy encouraging and motivating others, or if you want to contribute to someone else’s professional growth
- Decide on how much effort you are able to put into mentoring: duration and frequency of meetings, availability between meetings
- Think about whether you have any preference about whom you would like to mentor in terms of level or function
- If someone you don’t know approaches you for mentoring, you may wish to have a preliminary discussion with them before committing to mentoring them
- If necessary, you can always refer your mentee to a subject matter expert if they have questions outside your area of expertise
- There is an online training on Inspira (“UN Mentor Training”) originally designed for the YPP mentoring programme, but also useful for staff members interested in becoming a mentor for other categories of staff.
|Ideas for discussion|
Sample mentoring meeting record template
Click here for a sample mentoring meeting record template, which you can customise as needed. This template might be useful if you who want to keep a record of mentoring meetings, or if you want some ideas for how to structure a mentoring meeting.