What is a Mentor Ambassador –
An ambassador encourages both mentoring itself and a mentoring approach in all their work.
They truly recognise the value of investing in people.
I was especially delighted to receive my OBE from HRH Prince of Wales as he is a mentoring ambassador in every sense. He totally recognises the power of mentoring. He has used every opportunity to encourage formal mentoring programmes in his charity work. Through all his work he encourages people to listen and support each other to gain perspectives and to give support.
What do Mentor Ambassadors do?
In any organisation whether it be charity, not for profit or corporate, the right mentoring ambassadors can act as a huge influences for starting programmes, maintaining engagement and helping share best practice.
Ambassadors make mentoring part of what happens rather than a separate project.
Ambassadors make clear links to organisations’ goals, values and the mentoring programme.
Ambassadors make sure the profile and recognition of the importance of mentoring stays high.
Who can be a Mentor Ambassador?
All mentors and mentees naturally have the ability to be great ambassadors by sharing the experiences they have had.
It also might be that someone (often a senior leader) recognises the value mentoring gives however cannot commit to the time needed to mentor. They can still make a difference by supporting any mentoring programme as an ambassador.
What is a Mentor Champion –
A mentor champion is an experienced mentor who supports other mentors. They are sometimes known as the mentor’s mentor.
What do Mentor Champions do?
Practically a champion enables a lesser experienced mentor to feel supported as they have someone to go to for support and help.
A champion will have wider knowledge and resources that help the mentors signposting work.
A champion will create engagement for mentors that are struggling or are less confident in their role to overcome challenges which reduces risk for all.
A champion shares success story news and enables best practice sharing.
Who can be a Mentor Champion?
In most organisations we support, we often train experienced mentors to take on this role. This is flexible training or a Level 5 qualification for those that have existing mentor training and want to extend their professional qualifications by undertaking the work to create a learning portfolio.
Some organisations also choose to outsource the mentor champion role to us. This works by us sharing with them a mentor champion expert who supports those mentors, either when needed or visiting monthly. This enables the mentor champion to cover any areas the mentors need extra help with.
It doesn’t matter which option is chosen, both have benefits. It’s just so important that each mentor has this formal system of support and communication. A mentor champion role enables mentoring programmes to work long term for everyone’s benefit.
How does this link to Mentoring programme design?
There are lots of areas to consider with programme design and whilst there are key principles the areas will vary according to each programme’s needs. So we always support the design of a mentoring programme in a bespoke way.
I always find it interesting that despite the very wide range of mentor programmes we support, that there are such key principles that are relevant to all.
Martin Lucas recently interviewed me on just this topic and the podcast interview is here for you.