Mentoring Skills

We believe that mentoring skills have never been more relevant and valuable as they are today. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, summed it up well when she said “When mentoring is done well, everyone flourishes”.

Good mentorship supports and develops team members at all levels of the organisation. Therefore, it makes a big contribution to learning and development. Mentoring also makes a big, positive difference in times of volatility and uncertainty. So, these benefits will be valued by both individuals and organisations.

In addition, it’s a low cost activity. The main investment for those involved is their time and commitment. In these constrained times, this is good news. Let’s take a closer look at the key considerations.

Mentoring Skills

Why developing mentoring skills makes sense

What are the main benefits of mentoring?

Gone are the times when a mentor’s role was about a help up the career ladder for a mentee. Recognition for the value of mentorship means that there are now many uses of mentors. More creative applications include peer to peer and reverse mentoring. The latter is when a junior person, with specific skills, mentors a more senior leader. Consequently, it’s a popular solution for rapid advances in technology and understanding the younger market or workforce.
Typical types of employees who benefit from working with a mentor are:
  • Newly appointed leaders
  • Those identified as leaders of the future
  • Employees joining through acquisition or merger
  • Individuals going through any sort of transition or change.
Indeed, any category of employee who needs focused attention and development, will enjoy working with a mentor.
The good news is that it’s not only mentees that benefit. Mentors report that they learn and develop through the process too. Thus, there are wider benefits from mentoring for the organisation.

What’s the difference between coaching and mentoring?

Coaching & Mentoring are words that are used interchangeably. Although they are both development tools, there are some important differences.
Mentoring involves the sharing of knowledge and experience by the mentor. So, mentors are often selected on the basis of that experience or knowledge. It is often a long-term relationship. Indeed, many relationships last long after the formal programme is over.
Coaching is more targeted and focused on developing specific skills or behaviours. The role of the coach is to facilitate the thinking of the coachee. It is not to provide answers. It’s usually short-term, lasting between 6 and 9 months. Whilst coaches may share their experiences with a coachee, it is not a key part of the relationship.
Good mentors use coaching skills such as asking questions and active listening. The best mentors balance sharing their experience and encouraging the mentee to think solutions through for themselves. This can be a difficult balance, especially for those used to leading. That’s why mentor and mentee training is so important.
Benefits of mentoring

What makes a great mentor?

Research shows that great mentors share the following qualities:

  • Have a genuine desire to develop and support the growth of their mentee
  • Build deep levels of trust
  • Willingly share their knowledge and experience
  • Stop short of imposing their views and directing action
  • Encourage the mentee to reflect and think through solutions for themselves
  • Leave their ego’s and their seniority (if applicable) outside the door
  • Focus solely on being of value and a partner to their mentee
  • Achieve the right balance of challenge and support

Why training mentees is important

Preparing and training mentees is very important. However, it’s often overlooked or it’s minimal. As a result, the success of the mentorship is  limited. Research, by Henley Management College, found that when mentees were trained, the effectiveness of mentoring relationships increased by an impressive 30%.
For instance, mentees who are trained have clarity about what they want to achieve with their mentor.Therefore, they take responsibility and ownership for the success of the mentoring. Finally, they bring energy and enthusiasm. So, it’s easy to see that training mentees has a significant impact on the success of mentoring.

Our top 5 tips for a great mentoring programme

  1. Be clear about why you are introducing mentoring. Explain how it fits with other processes and who the target audience will be.
  2. Invite mentors to volunteer rather than impose it. Not everyone makes a good mentor.
  3. Train both mentors and mentees. It doesn’t have to be lengthy, but it’s essential for success.
  4. Ensure you have a clear structure and framework. Don’t over-engineer or complicate things.
  5. Review progress and measure success. Engaging the line managers of mentees can be very helpful here.

Our Mentoring Skills Workshops and Webinars

Mentor Training

We develop skills and confidence with interactive webinars for mentors:

  • A practical and engaging virtual learning experience that’s tailored to your mentoring programme
  • A resource-rich eBook for mentors, which supports them beyond the workshop
  • Time efficient learning – 2 hour webinars or half day face to face workshop.
  • Lots of tools and materials for practical use during mentoring sessions
  • Clarity about processes and mechanics of your programme
  • Mentors leave workshops energised, enthusiastic and confident

Mentee Training

We ensure your mentees get off to a flying start with our mentee training webinar:

  • A practical and inspiring webinar that’s tailored for your mentees
  • Clarity about what mentoring is and how to maximise its value
  • Knowledge and confidence to take responsibility for their relationship with their mentor
  • Time and support to set effective goals
  • The opportunity to reflect on their readiness and their learning style
  • Tips to maximise their learning opportunities
  • An invaluable eBook for mentees, is packed with resources for ongoing use

Skills training for mentors and mentees can be challenging for large organisations. When participants are spread across a wide geography, training is often inconsistent, variable in quality or reliant on a set of PowerPoint slides.

However, we have the solution that allows you to deliver consistent, high quality, in-house training anywhere.

Mentoring Training Toolkit

Our Mentoring Training Toolkit give you a complete toolkit for training mentors and mentees. High quality products with built-in flexibility and everything you need.

It includes session plans, handout templates, activities and exercises and tips and techniques for powerful facilitation.

Your Branding on materials

Our flexible branding tool enables you to add your corporate branding to your eBooks or workbooks to create a bespoke look and feel for your mentors and mentees.

We offer 2 levels of corporate branding plus the ability to add your own welcome message at the beginning of the workbooks.

Train the Trainer

We run a short (3 hour) workshop for your internal facilitators to bring the materials to life and enable them to deliver highly effective workshops with confidence.

This workshop can be virtual – giving  you the confidence of consistent training wherever your teams are based.

We were keen to have a fit for purpose process that was easy to use whilst being comprehensive and also with a pragmatic approach. We found the tool ‘Get Ready to Mentor’ provided by Talent for Growth to be exactly that. I would have no hesitation to recommend Talent for Growth to up skill senior team members to take on the exciting and measurable role of mentoring.
Colin Priestly-Wall

Head of Learning & Development, The White Company

Alison’s input and preparation prior to the programme running was very comprehensive and took into account our business needs as well as the required learning outcomes. The results were even better than we expected. The workbooks were a particularly important and valuable element. She delivered a programme that proved to be worthwhile, very informative and enjoyable for all.

Liz McGivern

Vice President Human Resources, Red Carnation Hotels

Our Blog Posts

Tips for Mentees

Tips for Mentees

Our Tips for Mentees series starts with a look at a hidden barrier which we call The Awe Factor.