Everything You Need to Know About Mentoring
People are capable of incredible things. It doesn’t take much searching to come across stories of triumph and individuals overcoming seemingly impossible obstacles to achieve their goals.
These stories are inspiring and can ignite a fire in others to do what it takes to make the changes they want in their own lives. However, the journey to each person’s version of success is different.
Figuring out how to navigate this path and avoid the hurdles you will face can be very difficult if you don’t know how. Thankfully, there are people who dedicate their time to helping you smash these goals out of the park.
These people are known as mentors, and they are in a position to help you achieve success – whatever that looks like to you - because they too have overcome hurdles that stood in the way of their own goals.
What is a Mentor?
The Mentor definition in the Cambridge Dictionary is:
‘A person who gives a younger or less experienced person help and advice over a period of time, especially at work or school.’
As such, the Mentor meaning revolves around the support, encouragement, and guidance of others so that they realise their full potential in whatever part of their lives they are trying to improve.
Mentoring helps people to not feel alone in their journey, and to receive the emotional support required to rethink their approach to situations and come at them in a way that will achieve better results.
What are the Four Main Stages of Mentoring?
For a mentoring relationship to be successful, it should go through four phases: initiation, negotiation, enabling growth, and closure. These phases are consecutive, so they build on each other and vary in length.
- Establish contact
- Exchange background information
- Determine expectations
- Define deliverables and ideal outcomes
- Clarify limitations
- Be clear about what both parties need from each other
- Be realistic about the time that will be committed to the mentoring relationship
- Set SMART goals
- Define the discussion format
- Set ground rules
- Identify learning styles
- Establish success criteria
3. Enabling Growth
- Check in/meet with each other regularly
- Mentor to actively listen and advise
- Provide constructive criticism
- Create relevant challenges
- Tackle difficult conversations head on
- Evaluate progress and deadlines
- Celebrate successes
- Ask for feedback
- Sensitively establish when the mentoring relationship should end
- Constructively reflect on and discuss how the mentoring relationship went
- Discuss the positive outcomes and benefits gained
- Thank each other and celebrate the successes
Why is Mentoring Beneficial?
As a relatively newly emerging concept, many people still wonder how does mentoring help those on the receiving end of the relationship. While, granted, the majority of the benefits are aimed at the person getting mentorship guidance, it isn’t solely the mentee who gets something out of it.
Those who benefit and the way they benefit from mentorship include:
- Increased self-confidence and motivation
- Help formulate a clear plan for personal development
- Are equally supported and challenged
- Gain access to a source of knowledge and experience
- Have a safe space to discuss ideas and approaches to action
- Open their eyes to other perspectives
- Are recognised for their knowledge, strengths and abilities
- Gain confidence in their ability as a Mentor
- Feel fulfilled when others achieve
- Remain stimulated as they take on new challenges
- Increased recognition from peers
- On-going learning and self-development
Organisations (when mentoring takes place in the workplace)
- A more motivated workforce
- Employee satisfaction as challenges and goals with rewards are set
- Enhanced communication within the business
- The sharing of knowledge, experiences and best practice among employees
- Innovative thinking and an improved way of working
What is the Difference Between Coaching and Mentoring?
If you have heard of mentoring, the term ‘coaching’ has likely not been too far behind. Coaching and mentoring are often used interchangeably when talking about development, but despite their objectives being similar, they have substantial differences that set these approaches apart.
If you were thinking of becoming a Mentor, or a Coach, it’s wise to find out these differences so you can be sure you’re aligning yourself with the right role.
Coaching vs Mentoring
Relationships are typically informal, long-term, and driven by the mentee as the Mentor acts more as a sounding board for ideas and goal discovery, which can change throughout the process. The Mentor will advise and provide support where necessary, but their aim is to inspire individuals to figure out what they want from their lives and put the wheels in motion to achieve it.
Relationships are short-term in comparison and come to an end once the objective has been achieved. They are Coach led, typically focus on training in a specific area, and will take a structured approach that will generate certain outcomes.
What is Reverse Mentoring?
Reverse mentoring comes from the concept that you are never too old or established in your field to learn. In terms of business mentoring, it is the coupling up or grouping of employees new, junior and senior, into professional friendships where they exchange skills, knowledge and perspectives.
This helps novice employees learn tried and tested skills from employees with ample experience, and senior (or older) employees develop more knowledge about modern processes, skills and ways of thinking. As such, reverse mentoring is a mutually beneficial form of mentoring that provides a more equal exchange.
How to Be a Good Mentor
Anyone can take the stance of a Mentor, but that doesn’t mean everyone who assumes the role of a Mentor is effective in it. If you’re wondering what makes a good Mentor, there is a lot that goes into it.
There are essential knowledge and frameworks you can learn to Mentor people constructively, but mentors also need to demonstrate certain characteristics and traits.
- Active listening skills
How Many Types of Mentors are There?
Our lives can be incredibly complex, diverse and consist of numerous elements, depending on the individual. The goals people can set themselves to achieve in this instance can be varied as different people value different things. This is why you can find mentors or Mentor jobs in an array of areas.
Just some of the types of mentoring you can find include:
- Academic Mentor
- Behaviour Mentor
- Business Mentor
- Career Mentor
- Christian Mentor
- Learning Mentor
- Medic Mentor
- Mental Health Mentor
- Property Mentor
- Writing Mentor
- Youth Mentor
How to Find a Mentor
Developing a mentoring relationship can help you gain so much confidence and enable you to reach your goals much faster than if you went about trying to reach them alone.
The invaluable lessons you can gain from this process make seeking out and approaching a Mentor so worthwhile, but naturally, you may be uncertain of how to find a Mentor in the first place.
There is no one way to initiate a mentor relationship. Some people prefer starting a conversation with someone they believe to be an inspiration or a good source of wisdom for them and allowing that relationship to develop organically.
If the potential Mentor isn’t someone you know, or isn’t someone local to you, you may ask an associate to make an introduction. If there isn’t already an existing connection to that person, you may want to reach out by phone, email or through social networks like LinkedIn.
Ultimately, if you want more certainty the mentor relationship will be of value, it’s best to seek out a qualified Mentor who has learned the frameworks for giving constructive guidance in this scenario. In this case, you would approach the professional Mentor like you would for any other service.
How Much Does Mentoring Cost UK?
This can be a tricky question to answer as mentors come in all shapes and sizes and can work for free or charge for their services.
If you are gaining Mentor advice from a peer or someone you know, chances are they could help you free of charge for a few hours of their time. Though, some people have sought the mentoring pearls of wisdom from highly successful, established and sometimes famous individuals, which can bring with it a substantial price tag. In some instances, this approach can cost thousands of pounds for an hour of their time!
On a more obtainable level, a professional Mentor can expect a starting salary of up to £18,000 per year. With experience, this can reach up to £25,000 and as you advance to senior or managerial status as a Mentor, you could earn over £30,000 per year.
The more qualifications, success stories and recommendations you have can all positively impact your earning potential. Making it very possible to earn above these estimated amounts.
How to Become a Mentor
There are numerous non-monetary benefits to becoming a Mentor, but if you want to dedicate your life to helping others, you need to turn this into a paying career.
If you are wondering how to be a professional Mentor, the best way is to formalise your Mentor skills by completing Mentor training. There isn’t currently a regulatory body for mentoring in the UK, however, training is very much worthwhile.
Not only will studying mentoring courses equip you with the essential knowledge and framework for effective mentorship, taking a course will evidence your abilities as a Mentor and demonstrate competence in core mentoring skills.
This will enable anyone looking for a Mentor to see that you know how to apply these safely and effectively within the context of your field.
You can take mentoring courses at different levels, plus those that focus on different types of mentoring. The best thing to do is assess the options available to you and decide which will help you reach your goal.
learndirect provide the ILM Level 3 Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring (Mentoring Pathway), which is designed to give you everything you need to get started. It shows you how to develop yourself and others, how to establish effective Mentor skills and implement methods to help people improve performance.
One of the most attractive aspects of this Mentor course is that it is studied online. So, you can complete this online training course at home and get qualified in a matter of months and be on the way to paid Mentor jobs quickly.
If you were wondering about training in more specific areas of mentoring, like how to be a Christian Mentor, learndirect also offer courses in Mentoring Christian Ministry, Mentorship in Health and Social Care, and more!
You can work to achieve your own personal goals by realising your ambition of becoming a professional Mentor with an online training course.
learndirect is the UK’s leading online course provider, with a host of courses to help you get the knowledge and qualifications you need.
Find out more about starting a paid mentoring career by speaking with our Course Executives today! They can run you through the host of online mentoring courses we offer and how you can get started as an online student.