It’s National Mentoring Day next week on 27th October 2018. Whatever role you play in mentoring - mentor, supporter, mentee, researcher, supervisor, champion, trainee mentor, funder, scheme organiser/manager (I’m sure there are more) - this is a chance to promote and celebrate mentoring and its value.
There’s a dedicated website where you can find resources, media packs, logos and some ideas on how you can mark the day. My plan this year is to mark the day by making a contributory blog each week day leading up to 27th. It will be a mix of practice sharing, skills and knowledge boosters and thoughts on the professionalised side of mentoring, including pointing to books and useful articles, all drawn from the ‘A to Z’ of mentoring.
It’s not until the 21st century that good, robust research, national occupational standards and professionalisation of mentoring has really come together. My work as a qualified practitioner and mentor trainer nationally means I have a privileged overview of these factors and how the value of mentoring in many environments has been recognised, amongst other things. So I’ll be dipping in to this experience from several perspectives.
In the meantime here are some As through to Zs
Active listening, Boundaries, CPD, Development, Ethics (code of), Feedback, Guidance, Humour, Insight, J?, Knowledge, Learning, Model (role), NO ADVICE!, Options, Pull (not push), Questioning, Reflective practice, Summarising, Trust, Unbiased, Verbal and non verbal and Voice, Wisdom, X David Clutterbuck’s Toxic Mentor, You (as in ‘it’s not about you’), Z (zest?).
I have mentored, and trained others in mentoring skills, for nigh on 8 years. This has included delivering national training programmes with SFEDI Awards, where anyone interested in enterprise mentoring can gain a recognised qualification, and the UK’s professional enterprise institute the IOEE, where you can register and find a mentor through its professional matching service. You can be a mentor without going as far as gaining a qualification, but it is important you have some form of training so that you understand what mentoring is, where the boundaries are, and stay legal and ethical.
More than anything, a mentor is self aware and knows how to use the right skills and tools and create the right environment for mentoring to be successful. This is not only knowing it theoretically, but also in the moment in a mentoring session.
Get in touch if you’d like to discuss any aspect of mentoring or have some practice to share.