Mentoring is increasingly being used by people in senior positions in organisations, to support their personal and professional development. Particularly for board members and senior executives, it can be a very useful way of getting specific solutions to challenges, at times and places that can be totally flexible. Having an experienced and trusted advisor to call upon when needed can be a real boost to confidence and performance.
What to expect
It is important that both the mentor and the mentee have clear and shared expectations about the mentoring relationship. It is useful to consider the following questions at the first meeting:
- What is the purpose of our mentoring relationship?
- How often will we meet?
- How long will the relationship last?
- How formal will our meetings be?
- What level of confidentiality is needed?
- What are the likely topics we will cover?
Who can be a helpful mentor?
While coaching requires particular skills in order to structure the process, mentoring can be provided by anyone with useful role-related experience and knowledge to pass on. Many board members and senior executives have relationships (with varying degrees of formality) with more experienced board members or senior executives from other organisations.
Benefits of mentoring
Some of the benefits offered by a mentor can include:
- Direct guidance on potential ways to solve a problem or address a challenge, based on their own experience
- A sounding board, giving informed feedback on the mentee’s ideas
- Providing useful introductions among their networks
Is this an area of concern for you? Contact Leading Governance for more help.