Staff mentoring in Higher Education: the case for a mentored mentoring continuum

Brigid Lucey, Sarah O'Sullivan, Louise Collins, Ruairi O'Ceilleachair

Abstract


Mentoring provides a chance for both personal and professional development in mentee and mentor.  It has previously been suggested that mentoring involves an integrated approach combining four development constructs consisting of coaching, counselling, networking/facilitation, and guardianship.

The aim of this case study was to explore the case for a mentored mentoring continuum when compared with the usual dyadic or group mentoring approaches.  This study was conducted through mentoring, discussion and development of ideas with a group of four people working in Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland, during 2017: a mentoring guide, senior mentor, mentor also acting as mentee and second mentee.  Nine structured meetings were held, which included both an agreed agenda and a recording of minutes, and which were reviewed and agreed by mentors/mentees.  Informal and unstructured meetings were also held throughout the period. Meetings were mentee and mentor driven, variously. 

The case study consisted of an exploration of the aspects of a mentored mentoring continuum that was reported to have facilitated enhanced and continuous professional and personal development in all participants.  A comparison of this proposed method with the traditional dyadic model of mentoring is presented.  We contend that there is increased support for mentors and mentees within the mentored mentoring model, that the potential for learning is greater than with the dyadic model.  We suggest that mentor training is vital, and that while mentoring may be time-consuming, we agree with the findings of others that the mentors benefit as much from mentoring relationships as do the mentees.


Keywords


Higher Education Institute, dyadic mentoring, mentored mentoring, mentor training, mentee

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