Mentoring

Mentoring has never been more relevant and valuable as it is in today’s unpredictable work environment. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, summed it up brilliantly when she said “When mentoring is done well, everyone flourishes”.

Our experience, as well as numerous pieces of research, show that the skills of mentors and the engagement of mentees will be critical to the success of any mentorship programme.

We have over 20 years experience of supporting a wide variety of mentoring programmes. Our expertise, pragmatic and flexible approach and our commitment to mentoring have enabled our clients to maximise the value gained from their programmes.

Mentoring Skills

Our services and products support mentoring excellence

Flexible blended learning

Short, self-paced modules supported by virtual workshops to suit all budgets

  • A practical and engaging blended learning experience that’s tailored to your mentoring programme
  • Video tutorials, exercises and access to Chat facility
  • Virtual workshops to pull learning together, share experiences
  • Flexible options for ongoing support for mentors e.g. 1:1 support, facilitated group learning sharing, email access to facilitator
  • Option to add topics such as Strengths, learning styles etc.
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Workshops & webinars

Get your mentoring off to a flying start with our workshops or webinars

  • A practical and engaging webinar that’s tailored for your programme
  • Programmes for mentors and mentees
  • Time efficient learning with 2-3 hour webinars or half day workshops
  • Resource-rich eBooks for both mentors and mentees for ongoing learning and support
  • Lots of tools and materials for practical use during sessions
  • Participants leave workshops and webinars energised, confident and raring to go

Support for in-house training

No time to design you own training?

Our Mentoring Training Materials gives 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.
  • Train the trainer sessions enable in-house facilitators to get familiar with tools, practice application and benefit from our expertise and experience

 

Get in touch here to discuss how we can help you, or call us 01647 277 709

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 Thoughts on Mentoring

Why mentoring is so valuable
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, where a junior person, with specific skills or knowledge, mentors a more senior leader. Consequently, it’s a popular solution for rapid advances in technology and understanding the younger market or workforce.
 
Individuals who typically 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.
Coaching vs Mentoring - the differences
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 thinking 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.
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
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.
Ignore mentor training at your peril
We’ve often been surprised to find how many organisations do little, apart from sharing a set of slides, to train mentors. The reasons are usually one of two:

  • The seniority of the mentors carries an assumption of knowledge and skill for  mentoring
  • Senior leaders don’t have the time to attend a workshop

Both these assumptions are dangerous and can result in mentoring getting off to a poor start. We’d go further and suggest that some leaders don’t make good mentors and need development and support if they are going to participate.

A lot of the challenge lies in their  seniority which can result in a natural inclination to get things done and provide direction.

So, what’s the answer if authoritative leaders are going to be mentors? We suggest the following:

  1. Sell the value of training, keep it focused, relevant and short
  2. Discuss mentoring styles and the value of developing a broad range
  3. Pay attention to matching strong leaders with a mentee who won’t be intimidated

Many leaders will have mentored before or benefitted from working with a mentor themselves. We always encourage a sharing of experiences when we train mentors. It never fails to result in some excellent insights and learning for many participants.

Goals for mentees
Without goals, mentoring is a pleasant but unfocused and potentially unproductive process. That sounds obvious but it’s surprising how often goals for mentees are unclear and hard to measure.

Enter the mentees line manager! This is the person ideally placed to work with their team member to establish what the goals should be for mentoring. It’s also an excellent way to engage the line manager who may otherwise feel excluded and remote from the mentoring process.

Mentoring should not replace their responsibilities as a manager. To ensure this, some guidance from HR or the Talent team about the sort of topics that suits a mentoring relationship can be extremely helpful for all concerned.

Having established the topics, the process of making them SMART is also important so that there is a reliable measure to review.

However, it’s also important for the mentee to be able to have other goals for mentoring that are theirs alone. A classic example is seeking help to build a better relationships with their line manager or working on something that is important but that they feel reluctant to share with their boss.

Getting the right goals from the start will make a big difference to how quickly progress is made. It also provides energy and focus for both mentor and mentee.

 

 

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.