For you to make the most out of mentoring, it is really important to know what type of mentoring solution will be the best for you and your teams.
There are 3 main ways that mentoring works, which I have shared for you here:
This is also known as personal mentoring. This type of mentoring focuses on you as an individual and where you want to be. It will often include elements of your career or business to explore. This would be in areas such as work-life balance or difficult working relationships but only where those areas impact on you as an individual. This type of mentoring is especially valuable at key life stages e.g. serious illness, a general sense of wanting more from your life, divorce, redundancy and retirement.
This type of mentoring is where you want to get to the next stage of learning and development for your educational and career goals. These goals are not necessarily about promotion or change of roles. They can be about being the best in your current role or thinking about role enhancements or changes. It is often used for aspiring leaders/students with extra potential. However, it is very helpful for anyone to support them manage their career or study commitments well. It has also proved a useful tool for those who feel disengaged. Although in those cases it tends to be more of a life mentoring session with the emphasis on the outcomes that relate to the disengagement e.g. dropping out of college.
This is also known as business mentoring and its purpose is to help a key person in a business at any stage of its cycle. This is from pre-start stages through to start up, growth or exit and succession planning. Whilst this mentoring focusses on the business, the individual’s leadership skills will also be explored. This is, therefore, a brilliant tool if you want to develop both yourself and your business. It combines well with other forms of business support, especially training.
Once you have decided which type of mentoring is the right one for you at the time then the next decision is which delivery method you will feel most comfortable with. There are many ways, all of which work.
The key delivery methods of mentoring are:
One-to-one face-to-face mentoring
This is still the most popular delivery method, and with good reason. Most of what we communicate is non-verbal so by being with someone who is an experienced mentor, they will be able to notice areas that need exploring more easily and help you come to your own conclusions.
One-to-one via remote channels
This can be through the use of the phone or video conferencing. This is a great solution where time and distance are challenges. Greater care is needed to set frameworks and the mentoring relationship up. It can often make the interactions faster and more intense which works well for some, whilst others need more thinking and reflection time. It often works best when you have already met face-to-face first or as part of your overall mentoring relationship.
This is where a small group of people mentor each other. Often they take turns to bring one issue each to the table. It really can bring people together. Great structure, careful management and facilitation is key, otherwise individuals can feel left out or overwhelmed as they have too many conflicting questions and ideas with the greater number of people involved.
These are mini sessions where you either have one-to-one taster sessions or meet a mentor (often a specialist) at a quick round table with others. This is best for a quick input and review on something important to you or to explore whether you feel mentoring is the right solution for you.
This most often occurs with enterprise mentoring where you have specific mentoring sessions for a particular issue whilst often you still stay with your overall mentor. This is especially valuable to think through big changes such as trading internationally or expanding your digital capability where often one session will help you think things through and your overall mentor then supports you in taking that thinking through all parts of your business.
This is most often used in career mentoring. It is where a senior colleague is mentored by a more junior colleague. It is often used when one person is very senior looking at areas such as strategy and planning head office work and the junior colleague is in a front line position. The benefits are that both see a different point of view and develop through that, whilst also improving the organisation. Whilst it is possible for this to work well on occasion, it needs to be a very carefully implemented solution as protocols are needed to protect and support the junior mentor.
This is where 2 individuals both have mentoring skills and have knowledge in complementary areas. This can work brilliantly as a trusted relationship where you both support each other. It can be great fun and very rewarding. The downside is the amount of time needed as you have to act as both mentee and mentor.
Supply chain/client mentoring
This is where an organisation mentors their stakeholders. It has huge benefits as it upskills both the individuals involved .as well as bringing overall relationships and understanding together. This option works best with full facilitation and programme management.
It is also possible for people to be involved in more than one mentoring relationship/mentor programme at a time. Whilst this can work, having more than one mentor at a time can be too much for people to get the most from the experience.
However, it's really worth mentioning here that whatever you decide is right for you right now will work. Going forward at any time, as things change in your life, career and business different types of mentoring/mentoring programme may be more valuable for you.
Whichever option you choose I am totally convinced that you will gain benefit. I hope this helps you decide the right option for you. Mentoring works 😊
If you want to know more, please contact us.
We can support you with the design, training, delivery and structure of any mentoring programme to suit your needs.