Mentoring can have a very varied approach and meaning to different people and organisations. This means you need to be very clear about what you want, what’s involved and what to expect.
What you want from Mentoring – The more open a mind you can have on what you want from Mentoring the more you will gain from the experience. That’s because Mentoring can have so many benefits and areas to explore that if you fixate on one outcome you can be missing opportunities to add value to your plans. Having a clear idea of what your goals are though can be very helpful or sometimes the Mentoring helps those goals become clearer.
Why you want Mentoring – It really helps so much to have some clear idea of why you you have sought Mentoring. Why was Mentoring the best solution as opposed to support from friends, family, advisors or line managers for you? How does Mentoring fit with your other sources of support? What was the real trigger for you seeking a Mentoring solution?
Which Mentoring Programme - There is a vast array of Mentoring Programmes out there, all giving different support. From internal organisational programmes to remote Mentoring. It’s important to focus on what feels right to you and then gain clarity on that Mentoring Programme Frameworks.
A framework is important to protect everyone involved. We train Mentoring Programme Leaders and Mentors using the Mentoring Code of Practice which means mentoring is always focussed on the Mentees agenda. This means the mentor gives support and challenge to help the mentee to come to their own solutions.
We feel the total focus needs to be about empowering mentees to become independent and to find their own path forward.
Which Mentor - A lot of people can get very over-focussed on this question. They start creating a detailed checklist of all Mentoring characteristics required. I believe if you have a Mentor who has been trained, who has a passion for supporting others to find their own way and they are someone that you feel you can trust then you have the three core ingredients for Mentoring success.
I’ve been lucky enough to be a Mentor for people from very different walks of life and professions from Finance to Sport and to Art. The same principles apply and add value, it is just about being flexible enough as a Mentor to make it work for different people in the way that means the most to them.
Mentoring has amazing benefits when it’s designed and focussed so everyone understands and recognises what is involved. If you are looking to create or develop an effective mentoring programme in your organisation take a look at our flexible programmes to support you.
If you’re interested in our Career Crossroads or Business Mentoring support programmes with a blend of Training and Mentoring please just contact us.
I’ve explored how to make Mentoring work for you some more in an interview I had with Martin Lucas .
For more insights in this area listen to the interview here.
Happy Mentoring 😊