The New Zealand Mentoring Centre took to the skies in September and ran a 'pilot' training for The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia in Queensland. The training, entitled Supervision Skills for Health Professionals, was trialled with a group of 16 staff from a range of disciplines including indigenous mental health workers, psychologists, nurses, social workers and of course, doctors.
Peer supervision differs from more traditional forms of supervision in that it doesn't require the presence of a more qualified, identified expert in the process - a supervisor. Peer supervision usually refers to reciprocal arrangements in which peers work together for mutual benefit where developmental feedback is emphasised and self directed learning and evaluation is encouraged (Benshoff, J.M. 1992). There are a number of things that can and do go wrong if individuals are left to lead their own supervision processes and maintaining the quality and effectiveness over time is a challenge.
This article discusses peer group supervision and the factors that impact on its effectiveness, identifies common pitfalls for peer supervision groups and discusses how to maintain the quality and effectiveness over time so that the process does fulfil the purpose and functions of supervision for supervisees, their clients and organisations.
A recent survey shows mentoring is building momentum in New Zealand, but largely on an informal basis, say Wendy Baker and Aly McNicoll. They outline the findings.
We often instinctively turn to an experienced person when needing guidance or a sounding board. This informal mentoring is usually done casually over lunch or a coffee and is often a by-product of another relationship.
For the 3rd year running, the New Zealand Mentoring Centre in association with Unitec Institute of Technology have certificated graduates of its 5 day 'Professional Mentoring & Workplace Coaching Skills' training course and released them in to the wild.
The 2008 graduates are a mix of managers, workplace coaches and independent practitioners from all over New Zealand and all are committed to developing their skills and becoming part of the ever expanding coaching community in New Zealand.
Val Leveson from the NZ Herald talks to NZMC director Aly McNicoll about peer mentoring groups.
When working for a company, people often have colleagues to turn to when they need advice on how best to complete a task or to make a good career move. Sometimes another person, even on the same level as oneself, may have a different perspective and an idea on how to make something that seems impossible work.
However, when you're self-employed things can be quite different. You can feel isolated and stuck with no one to turn to for good, impartial advice and help.
Peer groups are often a help, but what do you do when you work alone and don't have a peer group around you?
Aly McNicoll, training director of the New Zealand Mentoring Centre, discovered her solution ten years ago.
British expert will help NZ firms develop a mentoring culture, writes Steve Hart
New Zealand organisations are increasingly embracing mentoring and coaching as being essential to their organisation's toolbox of learning and development strategies, says Aly McNicoll.
The New Zealand Mentoring Centre training director says the benefits of mentoring include helping to develop leaders, drive change and address management and human resources issues. While mentoring staff and grooming them for advancement may be all well and good, McNicoll says showing the benefits on the bottom line - generating a return on investment - is something some firms struggle with.
But help is on its way in the form of a mentoring expert from Britain.
"Britain is about five years ahead of us in terms of where mentoring and coaching sits in organisations," says McNicoll. "One survey found that 86 per cent of organisations [in Britain] were using mentoring and coaching as part of their day-to-day performance management practice.
NZ Herald writer Steve Hart talks to NZMC director Patti Gwynne
It seems some people put a lot of energy into resisting change - especially when it's the idea of a new recruit. Thankfully, there are plenty of people who believe that when a new member of staff joins a company it is a golden opportunity - not just for the new employee but for the company and its staff.
Patti Gwynne is a mentor and company coach. She says companies should rely on new staff to give a fresh perspective on the company.
"New members of staff are valuable during those first three months in the new job because they will see so many things that could be done better," says Gwynne.
A survey of what mentoring and coaching is happening in NZ organisations was carried out by the New Zealand Mentoring Centre Ltd (NZMC) from June 2006 - April 2007. There were 135 respondents from organisations across a range of sectors: private (46%), public (37%) and not-for-profit (17%). Respondents also reported that there were a range of mentoring types in their organisations with the majority being one-to-one (63%), 20% peer or group mentoring and the balance programme mentoring.
Australian health-care provider Queensland Health is rolling out the New Zealand Mentoring Centre training course The Power of Peer Supervision to 2000 employees in 2 districts over 5 years.