Mentoring

Mentoring is a two-way opportunity that benefits both parties:

For the mentor:

For the mentee:

  • Develops confidence and leadership
  • Develops confidence and leadership
  • Understanding of barriers to learning
  • Learn new skills
  • Improves communication skills
  • Work through difficult situations
  • Learn new perspectives
  • Make better decisions
  • Gain personal satisfaction
  • Grow networks and future potential

It is up to the individuals involved in the relationship to define what the relationship looks like: whether it lasts for years to secure that longed-for promotion, or whether it is a few conversations offering CV advice. Every type of relationship has it’s value and we hope that both parties will gain from the experience.

What is Mentoring?

Mentoring is:

  • A supportive form of development
  • A sharing of expertise and experience
  • A two-way opportunity
  • Focused on career and personal development

What makes a good mentor?

There are three dimensions to being a good mentor:

  1. Role Model. Setting a good example is about showcasing how you act in the world of work and how you have achieved your success.
  2. Supporter. Recognise your mentee’s achievements and give them positive reinforcement.
  3. Guide. Mentoring isn’t about solving your mentee’s problems for them. You are there to guide them to reach their own decisions.

So, you have been approached to be a mentor and you are happy to help, thank you! Next steps might include:

  • Use Charterhouse Connect to set up your first meeting.

You should use this first meeting to set some ground rules and build rapport. Useful things to discuss:

  • The role of the mentor / mentee
  • What you would both like to achieve
  • Trust – discuss how to deal with confidentiality and agree that everything discussed is private.
  • Expectations on how frequently you will meet and (approximately) how long for. Will this be via phone or in person, and will the mentee bring an agenda?
  • How the time will be used.
  • Get to know each other. Find out why they have requested a mentee. Are they asking for help around: career progression; redundancy or outplacement; new projects or transitions?
  • Best practice throughout your mentoring relationship.

It is important to understand some of the skills and techniques that will help you both explore any issues that may arise. Some of these are listed below:

  • Probing and questioning.
  • Closed questions: these are yes / no driven questions and can be used to glean factual information. E.g. Do you think you’re ready for that promotion?
  • Open questions: these are likely to receive a long answer and can be used to get the mentee thinking. E.g. Why is the promotion important to you?
  • Paraphrasing: can be helpful to give clarity to the mentee’s ideas, and to check what they really mean or understand.
  • Leading questions: try to catch yourself and avoid using leading questions. E.g. Do you have any problems with your manager?
  • Identify and reach realistic targets and goals. Encourage the mentee to note conversations and goals so you continue to move forward in your discussions.
  • Winding up.

Mentoring relationships often do not last forever, and that’s ok. Winding down can come naturally and you will see a drop in communication or you may be able to recognise that needs have changed and / or an original objective has been met. Confirm that the door is always open should they need it but recognise that an objective has been fulfilled.

Final advice

Ownership: At the start of the relationship it is likely that the mentor will be organising and driving the discussion. As the mentee grows in confidence let them take ownership of upcoming steps and make decisions with your guidance.

Feedback: Do not be afraid to offer feedback. Highlight issues and decisions and ask them, on reflection, if they would make the same decision again.

Maintain: Keep up the communication to open the doors to follow up conversations.

Listen: Understand your mentee’s needs and priorities. Let them talk and discover why / what your mentee is asking you to help with.