One of the best and least exploited means of developing members of your team is mentoring.
It is a strong method and cost effective way of developing staff, if done correctly, there is inevitably only one outcome. The mentee progresses and develops, the hidden ‘win win’ is the satisfaction it delivers to the mentor.
“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” Steven Spielberg
Mentoring is all about having a role model; someone who has the necessary experience to assist an individual through a particular phase or issue. The difference between coaching and mentoring is twofold, first the knowledge or expertise of the mentor and second, the fact that mentoring is designed for a specific period.
A mentor teaches someone ‘How to do things’ not ’What to do’, it is much more about the approach than it is about the act.
“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” Proverb.
For me, it is all about providing the guidance and the environment to allow an individual to think and grow in their own environment much more than it is about providing the solution.
A mentor is also a care giver, someone who is away from the everyday life of the mentee; someone who can look on and advise unemotionally and independently; someone away from their work or family hierarchy who can act as a sounding board, a helper and an advice giver. Great mentors are independent sounding boards and teachers who show genuine interest and care in achieving the desired outcome or achievement of those they are mentoring.
If you have someone who is underperforming try linking them up with a more experienced mentor who can help them on their journey!
If you would like more information on how Sampson Hall can train your people to become effective Mentors or indeed you are looking for a Mentor then please contact us on 0844 848 9594