Dr. Paul Stokes

Tell us about your contribution that has been recognised through the associate professorship.

My contribution to the University has been recognised as ‘outstanding’ in terms of External and Professional Engagement (E&PE) and significant in terms of Research and Innovation (R&I).

The focus of my work is coaching and mentoring as a discipline/ process. As well conducting several evaluations of coaching and mentoring programmes, across a range of sectors, I have also designed and delivered a large number of coaching and mentoring programmes, either as specialist coaching and mentoring initiatives or as part of leadership development programmes.

I am also a practicing coach, mentor and supervisor myself and was awarded Master Practitioner status in September 2021 by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC). Furthermore, I have recently been appointed as Business and Enterprise Portfolio Lead for the Department of Management which will allow me to continue with my external and professional engagement agenda.

In terms of leading in my field, I am currently leading on writing an edited book, along with other academics and practitioners in the field, on reciprocal mentoring, a growing area in mentoring. In addition, I am part of a global working group, with other academics and practitioners from Africa, mainland Europe, America and Australia, who are setting up a Global Coaching Ethics conference in 2022. I am also proud that myself and an external colleague will be publishing the 4th edition of our best selling text ‘Coaching and Mentoring: Theory and Practice” with Sage in Autumn 2021.

What does it mean personally to you to be an Associate Professor at Sheffield Hallam?

For me, being awarded an Associate Professorship shows that the University recognises my overall academic leadership in my area and values me for providing that.

Tell us a bit about your career story so far.

I have worked at Sheffield Hallam for most of my career. Firstly, I was employed as a full time research assistant on an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grant looking at organisational learning in manufacturing firms. Following my appointment as a lecturer in 1999, I began working in coaching and mentoring as a researcher and consultant and cofounded one of the first MSc courses in coaching and mentoring in the UK in 2002 – I was its first course leader.

Since then, I’ve had a variety of roles and positions in Sheffield Business School – placement officer, course leader for other MScs, Subject Group Leader for Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management, and Research and Innovation Portfolio Lead for the Department of Management. I have taught on courses for the University in Switzerland, Hong Kong and France as well as leading a number of corporate programmes in organisations such Shell, Diageo, Sheffield City Council, McBrides Plc, Barnsley Hospital, Sheffield Care Trust and Medicins Sans Frontieres.
If you could go back in time and give yourself some career advice, what would it be?

Make sure you keep in mind the ‘virtuous circle’ of learning and teaching, leadership and management, research and innovation and external and professional engagement, and recognise that they all mutually support each other.

What’s next? Tell us about how you want to further develop your contribution.

I plan to lead on deepening and widening the University’s offer on coaching and mentoring by leading further research in the area, strengthening the virtuous circle referred to above, and making sure we are able to track and evidence the added value this work will create. This is important, not just for future REF but for broader definitions of impact, particularly as we are an applied University.