As we grow our team, we are always on the lookout for physios within who want to take the next step in their career and become a mentor in their area.
We caught up with Physiotherapy Development Lead, Sian Kinal, to learn more about mentoring and the support our mentors get.
What are the Clinical Mentors’ main responsibilities?
The main responsibility of a Clinical Mentor is to be reliable support for the physiotherapists in your learning team.
Whilst clinical knowledge is important to be able to help guide, challenge and engage your team, one of the most important aspects of being a mentor is being an approachable and trustworthy role model to your mentees.
As a mentor you’re facilitating their development by encouraging them to engage in identifying learning needs and opportunities for development, and setting achievable goals and action plans with the mentee to progress.
In three words describe what it’s like being a mentor?
Facilitating, motivating and teamwork.
What support do physios get if they want to be a mentor?
Mentors are supported by their area Physiotherapy Development Lead with regular 121s and group mentor meetings.
If you decide to become a mentor, you will receive an introduction to the role before you start and there are many resources available to you on the intranet mentor page. This page is something I am currently growing, with links to papers, articles, podcasts and other learning materials for mentors to engage with in their dedicated 2.5 hours of mentor CPD time a week.
I am also currently leading the Mentor Development Project which was launched this year after I identified a gap in the development support for our mentor team.
This is focused on developing mentor key skills through workshops, where mentors and PDLs get to engage with each other and develop key skills away from the clinical side, which has previously been the focus.
What do the mentor workshops include?
The mentor workshops are focused on building key non-clinical skills, that are important in being an effective mentor and leader.
The workshops are focusing on developing skills such as understanding how different personality traits and learning styles influence mentoring and leadership; leadership theories such as transformational leadership and Goleman’s 6 leadership styles; emotional intelligence; organisation and planning; listening skills; and the use of coaching within mentoring.
Many studies discuss the benefits of building key skills in mentors to individuals, their teams and the wider business. Effective mentoring builds self-empowerment and can impact on important factors in a working environment such as integration in the team, motivation to progress, professionalism, critical thinking, and effective communication.
How often do you run the workshops?
In 2022 there are currently three workshops planned, running 12 weeks apart.
The first one took place in January and there was some positive feedback. The time between workshops is to be used for putting the skills introduced in the workshops into practice.
This is facilitated by me and the Physiotherapy Development Leads and development team. The mentors are encouraged to engage in CPD activities to build their understanding of the theories and skills introduced.
What experience does someone need to be a mentor at Ascenti?
Everyone will have had experience of being a mentor in their personal or professional career, whether it be in an official or unofficial capacity. Of course, clinical experience is important, but the most important experience is when you have been a reliable support for your friends, family or peers.
It's helpful to have experience in listening and understanding what another person needs to move forward in a challenging situation and facilitating that move forward. If you’re interested in supporting others and get joy from seeing others succeed, then the mentor role is perfect for you.