In the latest in a series of columns dedicated to mentoring, we look at designing mentoring to support women during and post their maternity leave. This issue: work and parenthood

The mother of all challenges

Lis Merrick and Nicki Seignot

Maternity mentoring is essential for new mums as they come to terms with life-changing events.

Our inspiration for this issue’s article is drawn from maternity mentoring schemes we have designed and implemented.

Our experience as coaches and working mothers, tells us that maternity leave represents a significant turning point as women re-evaluate work, career and life choices in the context of new and previously unimagined priorities.

With a number of maternity mentoring schemes in place, we offer some handy hints for creating a programme:

Research matters

How can clients contribute more? Coaches must let conversations find their path and help clients develop the skills to reflect on them, says David Clutterbuck, visiting professor, Coaching and Mentoring Research Unit, Sheffield Business School Inexperienced coaches often tend to feel they have to keep the conversation going, which puts them in the driving seat. More experienced coaches allow the conversation to find its own path, helping the client make choices about which direction to follow when there are forks in the road. Allowing the conversation to happen in this way enables the coach to notice so much more – […]

The coaching chronicles

The pilgrim fathers Hello, I am Roach the Coach and I am your guide through the Coaching Chronicles. There are 4,500 species of us cockroaches so we are well placed, across the globe, and across time, to tell you about coaching… King James I of England decreed that anyone who challenged the value of non-directive coaching and refused to use this approach, would be locked up or banished. This was a bit of a ‘deal’ for the Puritans. They weren’t known for mixing styles, approaches or theories, but for remaining true to the ‘founding father’ – mentoring. The Puritans valued […]