The type of ‘mentoring’ that we offer takes different forms but essentially is about a one-to-one experience, be that face-to-face, by telephone or email – often a mixture of the three.
Clients may want:
- some extra support to work on a particular project, to help them to focus on the detail whilst still being able to see the bigger picture
- an objective contribution to their whole workload, where we take on a non-managerial supervisory role
- coaching to get through an interview or selection process or to help them to settle a situation at work
- help to explore ideas creatively, to find interesting, efficient and effective ways forward
Mentoring typically takes the form of a short series of 1-2 hour sessions although we also offer ‘programmes of support, in the form of online discussion to support implementation of different tools and frameworks, sharing experiences, highs and lows.
It is quite common for clients working with us on bigger contracts to approach us for some mentoring support, either related to the work we are already doing with them, or something completely different. Our knowledge of them, their organisation and the often complex relationships they are working with means that we can offer support in that context.
We use discussion, listening skills and appropriate tools and techniques to help us work with people.
Examples of changes mentoring include:
We provided face-to-face non-managerial support to a senior manager in a local authority over a period of 3 years. Mind maps formed an important part of this work together, to make sense of a large and complicated department. At the same time, we were working with one of his teams, providing training in community development, DiCE planning & evaluation and skills in neighbourhood work.
Having commissioned a training course in DiCE (planning & evaluation framework), one of our clients wanted follow-up support to implement it. In reality this turned into a more generic mentoring role to help her to maintain a strategic vision whilst focusing on specific tasks. Following an initial meeting, we arranged to use the remaining time (5 hours) to communicate via telephone and email, reviewing the developing action plan.
One of our clients approached us to arrange occasional sessions to talk through ideas, with us acting as a sounding board. In this scenario we could help a worker who was feeling isolated in their particular role at that particular time. Four sessions filled a gap of support in the workplace.