The aim of this project is to improve the skills and knowledge of leaders of small charities, community organisations and social enterprises across London by using the skills and experience of a senior professional mentor.
We want to enable charities and frontline community groups in London to operate more efficiently and more effectively and be in a more sustainable position with regard to their long term future.
Good mentoring involves listening and being non-judgemental. You should work hard to build rapport, trust & respect. Be reliable. Don't be afraid to question and challenge your mentee in a constructive way. Be structured in your sessions, set action plans and facilitate answers to challenges. Provide opportunities for you both to feedback on the relationship to each other and set aside time for critical reflection. Set expectations and boundaries at the beginning of your relationship and don't forget to be realistic about what you can acheive.
The do's and don'ts of mentoring
There are some basic rules to being an effective mentor. If you follow these, you are likely to develop a good mentoring relationship that will reap results.
- Provide an outside perspective on both the leader and their organisation
- Listen, confidentiallly, to the issues that are worrying the leader about their organisation
- Help by sharing your own experiences of both failure and success
- Give friendly, unbiased support and guidance
- Provide honest and constructive feedback
- Be a sounding board for ideas
- Facilitate decision making by suggesting alternatives based on personal experience
- Supply contacts and networks to further personal business development
- Inspire the mentee to realise their potential
- Give ongoing support and development
- Where appropriate, seek advice or refer mentees to another point of contact
- Highlight any ethical issues that may arise
- Provide a counselling service
- Give specific technical business advice that would normally be provided by an expert business adviser
- Supply a training service
- Provide a coaching service (relating to specific business-related tasks, goals and objectives)
- Provide therapeutic interventions
- Take responsibility for success away from the organisation leader
- Intrude into areas the mentee wishes to keep private
- Create dependency
Goal Setting & Action Planning
Mentoring needs to be goal focussed to be productive. It's important to set long term goals and then break them down into smaller, more manageable goals all the time, using the SMART method to make sure the goals are:
Specific - describe your goal in as much detail as you can
Measurable - how will you know if the goal has been achieved?
Achievable - you can complete your goal, it is not too adventurous and that it seems attainable
Realistic - there are adequate resources available to complete the goal
Time bound - you have put a deadline on achieving your goal