"Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be." Eric Parsloe, The Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring
Mentoring is a powerful personal development and empowerment tool. It is an effective way of helping people to progress in their careers and is becoming increasing popular as its potential is realised. It is a partnership between two people (mentor and mentee) normally working in a similar field or sharing similar experiences. It is a helpful relationship based upon mutual trust and respect.
A mentor is a guide who can help the mentee to find the right direction and who can help them to develop solutions to career issues. Mentors rely upon having had similar experiences to gain an empathy with the mentee and an understanding of their issues. Mentoring provides the mentee with an opportunity to think about career options and progress.
A mentor should help the mentee to believe in herself and boost her confidence. A mentor should ask questions and challenge, while providing guidance and encouragement. Mentoring allows the mentee to explore new ideas in confidence. It is a chance to look more closely at yourself, your issues, opportunities and what you want in life. Mentoring is about becoming more self aware, taking responsibility for your life and directing your life in the direction you decide, rather than leaving it to chance.
MentorSET is person focused. It is less of a formalized professional relationship and more of a partnership; more like a friendship. We provide guidelines and training for our mentors and mentees, but the issues discussed will vary depending upon the issues being faced by the mentee.
MentorSET mentoring is:
Off line: Someone from outside your reporting hierarchy at work. You can not have an open mentoring relationship if your mentor knows your boss well. In fact MentorSET goes one further and tries to find mentors from completely different organisations.
Confidential: Issues between mentor and mentee are confidential.
Mentee driven: The mentee must take the initative and do the leg work in the relationship. The final responsibility for actions taken, as a result of mentoring, lies with the mentee.
Low-bureaucracy: We try to keep the amount of paper work down. We work with individuals and not institutions and so our mentors and mentees have to carry out the mentoring relationship in their own time. We realise that they are all busy people and so we keep the amount of paper work down to a minimum.
Person focused: We realise that women, particularly working mothers, often need to juggle their working lives with responsibilities at home. We recognize that issues outside the workplace may be hampering progress at work. We match mentors and mentees using their own criteria - career considerations or aspects of their personal circumstances.
We aim to connect women in SET with independent mentors who can offer advice and guidance about the issues important to them; mentors who can help with self development, suggest networking opportunities and empower mentees to make their own decisions and turn these into actions.