Mentoring and Coaching


Mentoring is a partnership between two people which provides support, help and advice along an individual’s career path

  • Employee mentoring program

    Mentoring is a partnership between two people which provides support, help and advice along an individual’s career path.

    Mentoring is:

    • An ongoing relationship that can last for a short or long period of time – it depends on the individual
    • Flexible and at times can be informal. Meetings can occur as needed, such as when advice, guidance or support is required. Other relationships can be more structured where there are set times for meetings.
    • Focused on developing the employee for the purpose of growing their career

    An employee may seek a mentor for a variety of reasons, including:

    • Expanding skills and knowledge
    • Creating meaningful connections
    • Developing leadership skills
    • Helping with career progression.
  • The Benefits of Mentoring

    One of the reasons why mentoring is valued so highly as a development opportunity is that all parties involved will get a positive out of the experience. The benefits include:

    • The development of skills or knowledge
    • Increased professional knowledge
    • Development of networks
    • Exposure to different areas of the business
    • Career advice and the access to experience and expertise

    Download the Charles Sturt Mentoring Guide

  • Finding a Mentor

    Mentoring is a rich and rewarding development opportunity. To work out who you'd like to have as a mentor, consider these questions:

    • What are you expecting to achieve from being mentored
    • What skills and knowledge are you looking for from a mentor
    • Are there any preferences you are looking for (ie business area, experience)
    • What are the skills, experience knowledge you are seeking from a mentor
    • What are your career goals for the next 1-3 years
    • What are your key strengths and experiences and how could these benefit the person mentoring you

    Once you've identified your goals, it will be easier to find a mentor. Think about people you've interacted with and who you would like to consider as a mentor. Take advantage of networking activities and let people know you are seeking a mentor. If you aren’t sure who you would like to have as a mentor, have a discussion with your manager on potential matches.

  • Approaching a Potential Mentor

    You can contact a potential mentor either by phone or email. Your initial communication could say something like:

    ‘I'm interested in being mentored and I was wondering if we could meet to discuss further. I would like to share with you what I'm looking for so we could learn more from each other and determine if a mentoring relationship is the right step.’

    It is important not to commit to starting a mentoring relationship straight away. Wait to discuss your objectives and learn more from the potential mentor at the first meeting.

  • The First Meeting

    Meet with your potential mentor in an informal environment. The objective of this conversation is for you to meet each other, get to know more about each other and share your aspirations for the mentoring relationship. It is useful to assess your comfort levels when discussing with your potential mentor.

    After the meeting, take some time to reflect and make the decision about whether this is the right match for you. If it’s not the right match, it’s ok to opt out early. It’s better to make this decision now rather than later down the track when you make feel like you are not achieving your goals and objectives.

    If you consider it to be a good match, consider beginning a new mentoring relationship. You can refer to the Mentoring Agreement to establish your mentoring approach and relationship. The agreement clarifies expectations, establishes roles and ensures you communicate clearly about the purpose, process and procedures associated with mentoring.

  • Mentoring or Coaching?

    Coaching is used to enhance or improve the performance of an individual through reflection on how to apply a specific skill and/or knowledge. Coaching helps individuals to reflect on their performance in a specific area.

    Mentoring is used as a means of supporting an individual during their career and life development. A mentor is someone who is able to provide advice on suitable career path, introductions and generally is a role model for the individual.


Coaching is about unlocking your potential to maximise your own performance. It is about helping you to learn rather than teaching you.

  • About Coaching

    The essential part of coaching is to help you learn to silence your inner voice and allow your instincts, or subconscious, to take over. Sometimes that means distracting it, and sometimes it’s about exploring the ‘worst case scenario’ and removing the fear.

    Coaching is a structured conversation between a coach and coaching counterpart which aims to assist the counterpart to develop a strategy which will help them to reach a work goal or enhance job performance. It is designed to develop the potential of employees by building the counterparts self-belief. Coaching differs from mentoring in that the focus is on improving a short-term goal, rather than supporting and guiding a mentee through experience over a longer-term relationship.

    ‘Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximise their own performance. It is helping them rather than teaching them’ (Whitmore, 2009, p.10).

  • Benefits of Coaching

    There are many benefits for both the individual and organisation.

    For the individual

    • Career Development
    • Problem-solving
    • Job enrichment
    • Building capability, skills and knowledge
    • Increased productivity and engagement
    • Increased confidence and accepting responsibility
    • Increased ability to build networks and positive relationships

    For the organisation

    • Productive teams
    • Increased organisational capability
    • Increased networking and cross-unit cooperation
    • Promoting effective change management skills
    • Increased productivity and Innovation
    • Employee Development and Review
    • Career Planning
    • To solve a work challenge or problem
    • To create a way forward for an individual and a clear plan
  • When to use Coaching
    • Employee Development and Review
    • Career Planning
    • To solve a work challenge or problem
    • Team meetings
    • To create a way forward for an individual and a clear plan
  • Grow Model for Coaching

    A coaching model is a framework which helps to build a facilitated discussion between the coach and the coaching counterpart. A useful model for framing the coaching conversation is the GROW Model (Whitmore 2009). There are 4 phases to the conversation..

  • Setting up the Coaching Relationship

    In the first instance, you should discuss coaching with your manager.

    Once you have determined a suitable coach, the coach and the coaching counterpart should confirm the boundaries of the coaching relationship and agree on the purpose, goal and time frame for coaching sessions.