Both coaching and mentoring are developmental activities that share a number of principles and approaches and are available to all staff. Both are supportive and non-judgemental and require a degree of integrity in terms of boundaries and confidentiality. They rely on a set of similar inter-personal skills and a focus on the development and growth of another.

You may prefer a mentor if:

  • You are looking for someone who knows far more about the context you work in, and may well be an expert
  • You need someone experienced in your field
  • You want someone who may be a role model and can give advice and direction
  • You are looking for support over a more extended period of time – up to a year or maybe longer
  • You may want the focus to be on you as a whole person and particularly relate to career progression/enhancement

NB The mentor will not have a line management relationship with the mentee but they may already know each other

You may prefer to work with a coach if you are looking for

  • A confidential process, organised independently through the Imperial Coaching Academy
  • Someone who comes from a different part of College and will have no prior knowledge of you, doesn’t know your area, colleagues, or context and will bring more impartiality to the conversation
  • Someone who doesn’t have technical expertise in your field
  • Help to address specific work-related challenges around people or projects, or issues relating to career development
  • Someone who will support you in generating your own solutions and taking responsibility for actions, rather than giving advice
  • Someone who will bring a range of approaches, tools and interventions to the conversation
  • An opportunity to work within a shorter time frame with a fixed number of meetings -Coaching is offered via 4 sessions over a 4 -6 month period – though this can be extended