Career development: coaching & mentoring #Physiotalk 23 November 2015

Physiotalk have been following Karen Middleton’s (@KMiddletonCSP) ‘In person’ column in Frontline with interest and her recent posting on Coaching and Mentoring had lots of great ideas for developing your career. What a good topic for a chat we thought here at Physiotalk towers – so here it is! We will be holding a chat on 23rd No vember at 8pm GMT looking at career development through coaching and mentoring, hosted by Janet Thomas and Naomi McVey.

So what are coaching and mentoring?

Coaching is “a process that enables learning and development to occur and performance to improve. To be a successful a Coach requires a knowledge and understanding of process as well as the variety of styles, skills and techniques that are appropriate to the context in which coaching takes place” (Parsloe 1999)

Mentoring is “a learning and development partnership between a professional with in-depth experience and knowledge in a specific area and a protégé seeking learning  in the same area”. (Farren 2006)

Given their similarities it is no wonder that some view the processes together –  ‘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 & Pokora 2007)


For this chat we will be looking broadly at the use of coaches and mentors in career development and using the use as suggested in Karen Middleton’s article: coaching is a formalised process with someone who is trained in the field and often for a fee. Mentoring is a more informal process based on your approach to another professional who has skills and knowledge you aspire to develop.

Some areas have looked into developing a set programme for coaching and mentoring (such as the London Deanery scheme for Doctors) but more often it is personal decision to obtain a coach or a mentor, although this may be driven by decisions made in a formal appraisal or KSF review.

Pre-chat questions to consider

  • Have you experience of coaching or mentoring from either side of the development relationship?
  • Do you think coaching and mentoring is useful in all aspects of your career development – clinically, professionally, management or leadership roles?
  • Do you consider coaching or mentoring to be something you should utilise from being a new graduate – or is it more useful as your career progresses?
  • How would you choose a suitable coach or mentor?
  • What support would you expect from your coach or mentor? How much support could you expect from a mentor giving their time and energy for free?
  • What should you expect as a mentee? How should you prepare for a mentoring session?

Pre-chat reading

Post Chat Transcript

Click here for the post chat transcript

Chat support

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