At Jewel we are often asked by companies to implement mentoring programmes, train up mentors or provide a mentoring service to groups of people.
So what is mentoring?
Mentoring is a Greek word which means ‘a trusted advisor’. The role of a mentor is to:
- Build a trusted relationship with another person to help them reach their potential
- Share their own experiences
- Be a confidante so that the person can discus issues and challenges in a confidential environment
- Provide guidance and advice
- Help the individual with opportunities for growth
- Be a sounding board for ideas and thoughts
- Be the ‘devil’s advocate’ – to challenge thinking.
Why mentoring sometimes fails
We have trained a lot of potential mentors and one of the significant challenges for mentors is the time to do the mentoring. It has to be realistically discussed at the beginning of the mentoring relationship and also seen as a priority by the business.
Another challenge we see is that mentees do not chose their mentor – they are told who their mentor has to be. We feel that as it is based on relationships ideally the mentee should pick who they feel they want to have as a mentor.
One company we work with has a clear selection and application process for both mentor and mentee and they have a skilled mentoring co-ordinator who matches one with the other. It is such a thorough process that it really works. The criteria, availability and outcomes are clearly defined for the mentoring relationship which is why their mentoring process is successful.
When to use mentoring?
Traditionally mentors were given to graduates or new staff, however we now see a lot of businesses using it as part of their talent management (identifying potential for promotion and succession) and also as part of their employee engagement strategy. This aligns well with the McKinsey pillar of ‘Engaged Managers’.
What skills you need to be an effective mentor?
To be a great mentor you need the following:
- To understand the mentoring role and have the experiences that you can share with others.
- Know how to build trusted relationships.
- To have the skills to be able to engage in the mentoring relationship and know how to get the most for the individual.
- Have the value of ‘developing others’ and be motivated to do this.
- To have time to spend with a mentee.
Contact Us if you would like to know more about how we can help you with mentoring today.
Jewel Training & Development offers Mentoring Skills workshops and Mentoring Qualifications in addition to Executive Mentoring for Senior Managers.