Our NHS People

Mentorship: finding a mentor

Finding a mentor

Where to start?

The principles of peer mentoring

Corinna Thomas, Senior Programme Manager at the Lifelong Learning and Leadership Academy describes how she made the most of mentorship from the mentee perspective by preparing not only to find the right mentor, but also how preparing her own expectations and goals for the inital conversation made for a more effective working relationship.

Corinna Thomas shares ideas about preparing for making mentorship effective

How do I start?

There are two ways to find a mentor, remembering that we are using social media channels for mentors and mentees to find each other.

A) Twitter

  1. Add a logo to your Twitter profile to let potential mentors know that you are seeking mentorship with our #ProjectMentorMe Twibbon campaign.
  2. Make sure you have posted at least one tweet using the hashtag #ProjectMentorMe or by adding it to your Twitter bio.
  3. Now you are showing Twitter that you would like a mentor you can also start a search for a mentor. Mentors will have posted a tweet that you can search for with the hashtag #ProjectMentor.
  4. Look for a similar graphic around someone else’s profile picture and direct message them to start a conversation and get connected. If you do this, you are committing to the guiding principles of great mentorship above.

B) Join the #ProjectM Managing Together Group.

Here, you can connect with people who are already in this space and ready to offer mentorship.

Remember, however, your preferred mentor may already have been contacted and unable to help right now. If so, go to your next preferred person.

If you prefer a more formal approach, please visit your Regional Leadership Academy website or your own employer’s – we know that many have excellent local schemes which include training and coordinating mentorship matches.

Great peer mentees…

  • Recognise that a listening ear would be valuable and knows that the time and space is there for them to use well
  • Find the personal courage to reach out and make contact with potential mentors; being open to honestly exploring what they are needing, hoping for and would like to achieve
  • Are open to being both ‘challenged’ and ‘supported’ by their mentor; being receptive to exploring feedback
  • Understand the need to maintain confidentiality
  • Are willing to keep connected with their mentor as feels appropriate and is agreed mutually
  • Remember that their mentor may also be under-pressure in these current times; if concerned, reminding them of Support Now offers and their Employee Assistance Programme helpline services
How do I make the most of my mentor relationship?

To make the most of your mentorship, always refer to the guiding principles of great mentorship. They are there to help you.

Use the #ProjectM Managing Together group to pose this question or share your successes or top tips on making the most of your mentorship.

Join in the discussions or special sessions (coming soon) around these topics.

Follow us on Twitter @NHSLeadership and follow #ProjectM

Still not sure? Contact us with email [email protected] Please note, it may take a few working days to reply.

What if the mentorship isn’t working?

We are sorry that this hasn’t worked for you. This is a bit of an experiment for us too. It’s been a real challenge to think about how we can get people to connect quickly, and supportively, when redeployment and capacity are common words in all of our everyday language.

We would like you to take a moment to reflect on the approach. It’s focused on a self-selection, self-organise adult-to-adult conversation model. It may be useful to review the guiding principles now. Do you feel able to give your mentee or mentor feedback on what’s working well, and what could be better?

If your feedback hasn’t worked and you wish to stop the mentorship just let your mentoring partner know.

If you wish to find another mentor or mentee too, start the process again.

If you would like to raise a concern or a complaint, please email [email protected] Please note, it may take a few working days to reply.

If you are worried about someone’s wellbeing right now, please signpost them to support now and/or recommend their local employee assistance programme.

How do I give feedback?

Being receptive to giving and receiving feedback is a key principle of great mentoring. Please review this and reflect on how you are doing.

We appreciate that your feedback may be about the approach or experience (positive or otherwise). You can contact us by email [email protected] Please note, it may take a few working days to reply.

We will be developing our FAQs and you can help by contacting us [email protected]