Friday, 18 June 2010

Claudia Filsinger on 'what is mentoring?'

I have asked a number of appropriate professionals to elaborate on what they think mentoring is and should be. First up is Claudia Filsinger, who has kindly provided an outline from the perspective of a career and business coaching expert:

What is mentoring? Mentoring often involves the mentor having more experience in a profession or sector than the mentee. In addition to sharing experiences and giving advice the mentor gives general support and encouragement as well as supporting the formulation of goals. It is often overlooked that there are many benefits not just for the mentee, but also the mentor. In fact a recent development is "reverse mentoring". For example young employees introduce older employees to social media or junior female employees reverse mentor male executives.Career researchers recommend multiple mentors, which can be both formal and informal. Complementary activities like training, coaching, networking and collecting feedback can be used in addition to maximise career success. Success factors for mentoring include clear contracting at the beginning of the relationship (how to work together, what is the goal etc). A pitfall of mentoring could be for the mentee to become dependent on their mentor or feeling obliged to follow advise. So I think an important part of mentoring is to reflect on the mentoring in general and specifically on the relationship, which can include giving each other feedback. Mentoring relationships end at some point - sometimes what looks like small steps can be major achievements, so celebrate!

(Claudia started her career in publishing in Sales and Rights, both in Germany and the UK. Following an international Learning & Development position with a major IT company she now pursues a portfolio career. This includes seminar tutoring at the Brookes Business School in 'Career Planning' and 'Work Placement Search'. She has a Career and Business coaching practice and is studying for an MA in Coaching and Mentoring. She was a member of the Oxford SYP in the late 1990s and is currently on the Committee of the Oxford CIPD.)

Saturday, 12 June 2010

What is expected of the SYP mentoring student?

Students and mentors will agree how they want to work together as part of their mentoring relationship but, as a minimum, the following are good pointers for a mentoring student:

· Drive the mentoring relationship
· Provide a realistic self-assessment and identify development goals
· Agree in advance and stick to a schedule of mentoring meetings
· Prepare for mentoring meetings, including determining the agenda of the meetings in advance
· Follow up on actions agreed at the meeting
· Make brief notes of the content and outcomes of meetings
· Maintain the confidentiality of the mentoring relationship

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Students and mentors now being matched

I have matched the initial applicants for the SYP Mentoring Scheme with their mentors, and their first meetings are either underway or currently being arranged.

The first meetings are useful in facilitating successful mentoring relationships by outlining
and managing mutual expectations and clarifying roles. An initial mentoring meeting might include:

· Discussion of the mentee’s primary development objectives
· Build up rapport, and perhaps talk about your respective backgrounds
· What the student is obliged to do in the mentoring relationship
· What the mentor is obliged to do in the mentoring relationship
· Decide on what project/issue/career aspect to work on together
· How often you want to meet and by what channel.

Applications from SYP members are still welcome until 18 June, and mentors are welcome to join our growing pool of industry experts.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Mentors: the publishing industry needs you

I extend my sincere thanks to the SYP mentors we now have for the 2010 scheme; your support is invaluable. I'm keen to add to the list, so new mentors are always welcome. I am interested in potential mentors from all areas of the industry -- editorial, sales, marketing, publicity and production. If you are interested in learning more about what being a SYP mentor involves, please contact me:

Thanks to Jon Reed of Reed Media,, who has kindly posted more details on Publishing Talk: