Studies have shown that having a Mentor is the top factor affecting a person’s success, career satisfaction and whether they will stay with an organisation. The Mentor gains through giving something back and supporting the mentee as well as further developing themselves through learning from the mentee. Mentoring offers a win-win outcome for both
How does Mentoring work?
Mentoring is about understanding how and why people learn, and what inspires them to do their best. Mentoring is about action learning, based on real situations which the mentee is dealing with and accountability for commitments made between the sessions.The objective is to support the mentee in learning, thinking about and translating into action alternative approaches to dealing with situations in their own environment. Mentoring enables people to achieve extraordinary results with real and lasting benefits. It works by removing barriers that prevent people from performing to their best.
The Mentor’s role
The role of the Mentor is about supporting the mentee to focus on where they are now, where they want to be and helping them to clarify and set challenging goals and then to move forward. A Mentor facilitates the learning, development and performance of the mentee in achieving their own self-defined goals, without judgements or criticisms. Mentors are there to inspire, motivate, be a guiding hand and well as supporting the mentee’s growing self confidence as they achieve their goals. As well as keeping them focussed and on track a good Mentor will positively challenge a mentee as well as praising and congratulating their achievements.
At its best, mentoring is about guiding the mentee to find the answers or make decisions for them through facilitating the experience of discovery and learning.
The Mentoring relationship
Every mentoring relationship must be based on mutual respect, trust, honesty, openness and a shared commitment. There is no room for hierarchy or inequality.
Mentoring must be non-critical, confidential and non-judgmental for it to be effective. The mentee needs to know that whatever is said will not be repeated to anyone else; and feels safe to own up to weaknesses, shortcomings and failings without fear of ridicule or the information gained in the session being used in a detrimental way. They need to feel that the Mentor believes in them 100% and wants nothing more than to see them succeed. If the relationship isn’t strong then it is doomed to fail. If an individual is reluctant to be mentored because of an issue between the individuals there are two options, either to end the relationship or to diagnose what the barriers are, stress the factual evidence for the need to improve and work on building up the trust.
The six key elements within an effective mentoring relationship are:
- Rapport – Where both parties are relaxed with and responsive to the other person
- Trust – A confidence that the other person is reliable, supportive, honest and respectful
- Focus – Where the Mentor is engaged with the individual and their issues and they will listen without evaluating
- Empathy – Having an understanding of and respecting the other person’s feelings, viewpoints and drivers
- Congruence – Working towards the mutuality of objectives as well as sharing confidence
- Empowerment – Supporting, nurturing; absorbing confidence and competencies as steps towards independence
The on-line Mentor Matching facility is provided by our partner network: Business Best Practice and delivered by BBPN. For more information about Northern SoHo please visit our Website or join us at one of our Meetings.