Business mentoring can be a highly effective way to improve business performance. A business mentor is "someone whose hindsight can become your foresight".
Traditional One-on-one Mentoring
A mentee and mentor are matched, either through a program or on their own. Mentee-mentor partners participate in a mentoring relationship with structure and timeframe of their making or as established by a formal mentoring program.
A mentoring relationship in which the two parties (or group) are in different locations. Sometimes called “virtual” mentoring.
A single mentor is matched with a cohort of mentees. Initial program structure is provided while allowing mentor to direct progress, pace and activities.
Our program includes
- Management consulting is based on the expertise, knowledge, skill set and technology of the consultant. The consultant's skill set is focused on building their own internal resources, in order to apply them for the client company's benefit.
- Business coaching assumes that the client has the necessary capability and helps them to discover it for themselves.
- Business mentoring targets the personal development of people who are well versed in their fundamental technical skills but need extra assistance in other skills areas, expertise or knowledge.
Business mentors lever their knowledge and experience by providing advice, counsel, network contacts and political and cultural know-how, together with ongoing personal support and encouragement. The business mentor's interest is to foster the career development of the mentee.
At its best, business mentoring is a process that activates the skills of the mentee within their current role and helps groom them for their next. Business mentoring helps them to produce high quality decisions that define them, their authority and their effectiveness. A business mentor provides a confidential sounding board, thinking room, and support for working through crucial and often complex decisions.
A business mentor, by virtue of their experience, will be able to help the mentee steer through the organisation. Perhaps more importantly, the business mentor will help the mentee to understand some of the more informal ways of getting things done and some of the unwritten and unstated ways of working (the world of corporate politics!), and therefore develop the mentee's professional expertise and career.
The business mentor is someone with whom the mentee can discuss and work through concerns or opportunities that they may not want to expose to their immediate superior. Indeed, it may be that the superior is one of the mentee's concerns. Remember, the superior may well be under pressure to come up with short-term deliverables, and may therefore not be sympathetic to the mentee's longer-term career goals.
The mentee may feel that they are working in an environment that does not fit with their preferred ways of working. They may not even be aware of this, perhaps just having an undefined feeling of things not being quite right.
Talking with someone such as a business mentor, who can bring a wider perspective, may help the mentee to recognise what is happening and identify the culture that is right for them.
A mentee must, of course, be prepared to take feedback. But to get the greatest possible benefit from a business mentoring relationship, there are several other things a mentee must do.
- Own the business mentoring relationship
First and foremost, the mentee must own and take responsibility for the business mentoring relationship. Owning their career is an important principle of career development. No one has more interest in, or more to gain from, the progression of the mentee's career than the mentee.
- Be proactive in the business mentoring relationship
This means taking the initiative and setting the pace – with the agreement of the mentor. The mentee must look at the business mentoring process as a project they are managing: as with any project, they should set milestones and make sure that they are achieved.
- Manage the business mentoring agenda
The mentee, not the mentor, should define the agenda of the business mentoring programme. If the mentee does not work out what it is they want to do, they are in effect handing it over to others to determine their direction.
- Set objectives for the business mentoring programme
It is essential for the mentee to:
- set himself or herself some objectives to work on during the mentoring relationship
- discuss these objectives with the business mentor and obtain their agreement
- write the objectives down and give the mentor a copy
- review these objectives regularly with the mentor.
- Progress actions
The mentee also needs to make the business mentoring programme action-oriented, and always follow through on those actions they agreed. It is reasonable to expect that the business mentor will do the same.