Mentoring & Micro-Mentoring

Mentoring is a two-way opportunity that benefits both parties. It can be an important and useful tool for self-development in the workplace and on a personal level.

The benefits are numerous and some are listed below: 

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

What is Micro-Mentoring?

With so many demands on our time, even with the very best intentions, it can be difficult to commit to a mentoring programme. Here at Charterhouse we encourage the use of 'micro-mentoring' to start you on your mentoring journey and begin to harness the power and network of our vibrant community.

Micro-Mentoring reduces some of the pressures of mentoring by looking to create shorter relationships, and advising in smaller blocks of time. It’s used in many companies and industries where individuals are time pressured, or have certain specific challenges they want to discuss, such as career progression, technical job expertise, client relationship management and so on. It can also be a great first test to explore a relationship which then may grow into something resembling a more traditional mentoring partnership.

From the perspective of the mentee it is much easier to approach someone to ask for two or three coffee catch-ups (of half an hour or so) than to ask someone ‘Will you mentor me?’. Equally, it is much easier to accept this kind of request for a few short meetings, without feeling as if you’ve over-committed.

Micro-mentoring relationships can last anything from a few hours through to days or even weeks, and we’d encourage everyone to give this a try and seek advice within our community by using the ‘Willing to Help’ section on Charterhouse Connect.

We also have our very own ‘Micro-Mentor Champions’. Meet the Mentors here. 

Micro-Mentoring: Best Practice and Advice

Approaching a Micro-Mentor:

  • Understand why you want a mentor and be specific in your ask. E.g. don’t ask ‘How do I get a promotion?’ but ‘How can I  gain the experience of managing someone to help me towards  the promotion to manager?’
  • Research the community and find someone ‘Willing to Help’ who also has the skillset you need
  • Approach this person and see if they can spare you 20-30 minutes to help you and briefly outline the problem in your ask. Reassure them not to prepare as you would just like to ‘pick their brains’
  • If they are happy to chat, ask them what medium and times work best for them. We now have Skype, Google Chat and Facebook Messenger integrated into Connect, but don’t forget traditional phone and face-to-face

Approaching the micro session:

  • Despite the ‘lighter’ touch to this type of mentoring, as a mentee, please do treat it like a long-term partnership. Be prepared with questions and priorities, and aim to set clearly defined small goals and targets
  • Likewise, don’t skip the personal touch. The mentor is still giving up valuable time to you, even if it is micro-mentoring

Post meeting:

  • Commit to the mentor and try to implement their advice. At the next catch up show them how you have used their advice
  • Tell the mentor what you did differently following their advice, and how their advice helped (the mentor needs feedback too). Don’t forget to thank them for their time
  • Arrange a further catch up if necessary to continue the discussions. 

If the relationship blossoms into a longer term mentoring relationship then that’s wonderful, but the beauty of micro-mentoring is that it can lead to lots of small touch-point relationships, helping you to build a vast network of individuals, all with different skill-sets, ready for the challenges that you will face year on year.

If you have any questions or would like any advice please email foundation@charterhouse.org.uk