Developing a good mentoring relationship

To ensure you’re making the most of your mentoring sessions these top tips from Alexis Hutson, our mentoring skills workshop facilitator, will help build a solid foundation for the future.

Identify a goal or area to change

Your reasons for taking on a mentor may seem obvious, or you may just have a feeling it might be useful. Either way, it is important to identify a purpose for the mentoring so that you can focus your learning and make sure it is meaningful for you.  

Value the sessions

Make sure you invest the time to plan and prepare for these important meetings. It might be tempting to postpone sessions when other more urgent issues arise, but taking the time out to think and review is always worth your time. This is your bespoke learning programme!

Act on tasks between sessions

This is where and when the real learning takes places. The sessions are a crucial moment to reflect and stretch your thinking, but actually putting your thinking into action back in your day to day life is where you really see progress. The tasks set in sessions are owned by you, so they have to be realistic and achieveable.

Reflect on your learning

Raising your self awareness, and noticing how you do things as you go about your daily business, creates new observations about what works well and where you might need to adapt. Honesty is integral to this and sharing these observations with your mentor is a vital part of developing your understanding.

Pace yourself

Recognise it takes time to embed the learning. There are rarely instant solutions arrived at in mentoring so be patient with yourself and the process of exploration and experimentation.


This article is part of a fifteen day social media campaign celebrating our Mentoring programme, follow the Academy on Twitter @acmedsci and check #mentoringat15 for further updates.

For more information about our Mentoring programme, please visit the mentoring pages of our website.

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