Updated on Monday, 3 August 2020, 1357 views

Big changes? Under pressure? Or simply in need of a new challenge?

All of us will have had one or more informal supportive relationships at some time in our professional lives. However once we become GPs, Nurses, Practice managers, we often spend all our energy supporting others. This can meant that in times of challenge or transition we can be reluctant or too pressured to seek support or refreshing input.

For all of us there are times when a confidential chat with an empathetic colleague with no vested interest can make a huge positive difference and keep us in control and enthusiastic, whether we need support or a challenge to develop ourselves further.

The GPMPlus service provides the opportunity for you to receive mentoring by trained colleagues.

What is mentoring?

There has been considerable debate in literature comparing and contrasting mentoring and coaching. What is described in one organisation as mentoring may be known in another as coaching. Whilst there are differences in the nature of the relationship (mentors often have experience of the type of situations the mentee brings, a coach not necessarily so) there are many similarities in the skills, tools and approaches a mentor or coach uses.

“Coaching and Mentoring are learning relationships which help people to take charge of their own development, to release their potential and to achieve results which they value”

(Connor and Pokora 2007)

Both are based around a “one to one relationship that provides an opportunity for individual to reflect, learn and develop”

(Jarvis 2004)

Both activities base their assumptions on the basic values and beliefs: that humans have the ability to change: that they make the best choices available to them: that the process is a journey not a quick fix and the process of learning is as important as the knowledge and skills gained.

(Zeus and Skiffington 2000)

Both activities are essentially a conversation where learning takes place through asking the right questions rather than simply providing the answers.

However, in the context of the GPMPlus service there is an important added benefit to the service being mentoring rather than simply coaching. All of our mentors, in addition to having been trained as coaches, have wide experience of working in General Practice and so, where appropriate, they are able to offer advice based on experience as well as using their coaching skills.

There are several principles that underlay the mentoring relationship:

The models used, Whitmore’s GROW model (2002) and Egan’s Skilled Helper model (2006) both highlight the important relationship between wanting and acting, and both focus on articulating specific goals for change. Both also test the commitment to the goal.

However, your mentor is experienced enough to be flexible to your needs and only uses these models as a framework and guide.