My experience drawn from: Mentor for many years; now also accredited professional coach Specialise in housing, regeneration, sustainability and local government sectors Former corporate director of skills and knowledge at HCA Former CE of Academy for Sustainable Communities- focussing on generic skills and knowledge for placemaking Former local authority CE
What is mentoring? Helping and supporting mentees to develop their career, skills, knowledge and abilities Improving the mentee’s self awareness of their own strengths to build on... But also development needs and suggesting methods of addressing these Support and encouragement with constructive challenge where necessary Setting and reviewing goals for development
Role of the mentor Using mentor’s own knowledge and experience to offer guidance and give practical support Fast tracking mentee’s professional development through suggesting opportunities for learning and experience including networks Helping the mentee overcome obstacles Offering constructive feedback and challenge Improving the confidence and self esteem of mentee
Mentoring styles No prescription: core aspects are trust, empathy, confidentiality and good knowledge of the sector Using a coaching style would suggest: – Encouraging mentee to take responsibility for their own learning and development – Balancing practical advice/suggestions with encouraging mentee to think through options and possibilities for themselves – The importance of setting clear goals at outset, following up each session and reviewing periodically – Active listening and reflecting back/summarising – Constructive challenge e.g. of self-limiting thinking
GROW model may be helpful G- is for GOALS for overall mentoring programme and for each individual session. Where do you want to be? What do you want to achieve? R- what is the current REALITY for the mentee? How are you finding your current situation? What are your key challenges? What aspects do you feel less confident about? What things would you like to develop? O- what are the OPTIONS for moving forward to address concerns or develop new skills/ knowledge. What obstacles will you face and how can you overcome them? What resources will you need? W- WRAP up: review what has the mentee got from the session and what are their specific actions arising. Are there also any actions for the mentor
The practicalities to agree at the outset Establishing rapport: getting to know each other; trust; confidentiality issues Agree on meetings: frequency; face to face or telephone; ability for menteee to ring between meetings if an urgent matter? Establish boundaries: personal development issues as well as purely professional development? Define what will success look like for both of you at the end of the programme- and keep under review Share data: skills audit, ongoing feedback etc
Mentoring during the recession Mentoring is more important than ever at the moment With experienced staff being shed through redundancies there’s a need to accelerate the knowledge/skills and development of retained staff Less public money for regeneration means there’s a premium on people being able to use new models for investment and development and working differently across professional boundaries If fewer opportunities to move jobs ( fewer advertised vacancies) then greater need to develop staff on the job and have a pipeline of talented people ready for when the upturn comes
To finish Thanks to those mentors who’ve signed up – fantastic skills, knowledge and experience they’re willing to share Rising Stars need to think carefully about how to get the best from their relationship with their mentors and prepare well for sessions -skills audit tool, focus on key priorities, think about goals Mentors what is your experience? Questions?