What is Mentoring?
The role of a mentor is to apply the knowledge and experience they have gained to support, guide and offer practical help to their mentees. But a true mentoring relationship is a mutually beneficial learning relationship where both parties derive satisfaction from the process and success comes from working together.
Leaders Together mentoring offers a one-to-one relationship which lasts for around six months. Over this time you should meet for around 24 hours (about two hours every two weeks).
A mentor should encourage the mentee to express and discuss their ideas, concerns and understanding of the organisational situation facing them. They should help to review progress and set realistic and practical options to realise the goals of an organisation - oftern referred to as action planning. Sessions should be used to reflect on and learn from things that did not turn out as expected and mentors can often use their own experience to provide real-life examples of similar situations. A mentor can refer mentees to other sources of information, advice or further support when appropriate and will encourage mentees to take responsibility for their own decisions, plans and actions.
What to expect from your mentor
A mentor normally has extensive business experience or is knowledgeable in a particular business area, such as finance or marketing. A mentor will act as a trusted confidant to their mentee over a period of six months. If you are thinking of finding a mentor, you should be clear about what you can and cannot expect from them.
Your mentor will:
- offer an outside perspective on both you and your organisation
- listen, confidentially, to the things that are worring you about your organisation
- help you by sharing their own experience of both failure and success
- give friendly, unbiased support
- provide honest and constructive feedback
- be a sounding board for ideas
- help you with your decision making by suggesting alternatives based on personal experience
- provide contacts and networks to further your personal and organisation development
- provide ongoing support and encouragement
Your mentor will not:
- provide a counselling service
- give specific technical business advice, which would normally be provided by an expert business adviser
- provide a training service
- provide a coaching service (relating to specific business related tasks, goals and objectives)
- take responsibility for the success of your organisation away from you, the organisation leader