BE YOUR BEST

LIZ DIMMOCK In this new column, Liz Dimmock will share lessons for mentoring and coaching from the sports world. This year she is leading a team of women cyclists around the globe. Sport has the potential to be a positive catalyst for girls and women. Just think of Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton, Ironman Chrissie Wellington, […]

SO LONG, THEN

In the latest in a series of columns dedicated to mentoring, we look at how to support mentors and mentees when saying farewell to each other. This issue: winding up the relationship

by Lis Merrick

Be careful how you close a mentoring relationship. Loose ends can undo good work and create more issues

Saying goodbye in a mentoring relationship can be fraught with difficulty, particularly in an organised mentoring programme. Too many mentors and mentees breathe a sigh of relief when they know their six, nine or twelve-month deadline is coming up and they can close their relationship down and feel they have done their duty by their mentoring partner. I find…

GROUP EFFORT

Internal coaches are in a unique position to bring their experience to bear in groups, supporting dynamic and truthful conversations that lead to organisational change, says Sara Hope As internal coaching becomes more embedded in many organisations, sponsors are increasingly looking for ways of capitalising on the value of employing a cadre of internal coaches. […]

Physician mentor thyself

by Linda Miller An international conference on physician health has stressed the important role of coaching and mentoring in developing leadership potential in clinicians and enabling satisfactory work/life balance among this group. More than 300 delegates from 16 countries attended the oversubscribed International Conference on Physician Health on 15-17 September in London. The conference was […]

Mentor with care

  Flexible, simple and individually led: these are the hallmarks of learning disability charity Mencap’s mentoring scheme. Head of learning and development, Alton Hobbs, talks to Liz Hall Mencap’s mentoring scheme is one of the largest for an organisation the size of the charity, which employs around 8,500 staff and some 800 volunteers, most of […]

MENTORING: COPY CAT!

by LIS MERRICK In the latest in a series of columns dedicated to mentoring, we examine what is involved in role model mentoring. This issue: Kick starting mentor/mentee rapport. Matching a mentor role model and a mentee gains in power when the mentee gets creative Formal mentoring is a powerful way of facilitating a developmental […]

Mentoring: the joys of spring

Lis Merrick In the latest in a series of columns dedicated to mentoring, we take time out to give your mentoring programme a springtime health check. This issue: freshen up your offer Don’t let your mentoring programme lose direction during the summer – get it into shape now Spring has sprung and summer is just […]

Mentoring: Let’s get ready for work

In the latest in a series of columns dedicated to mentoring, we look at how to use mentoring to support graduate programmes in your organisation. This issue: moving up the career ladder Lis Merrick Is your graduate scheme preparing mentees for the world or leaving them in a void? This issue, I am getting on […]

Mentoring: guidance channel

Lis Merrick

In the latest in a series of columns dedicated to mentoring, we look at how to use mentoring to support life transitions.

This issue: stress-free life journeys

Our lives and work are full of transitional moments. Mentoring can provide valuable direction

Making transitions between different stages in your life can be exciting, inspiring, nerve-wracking and scary. Whether that be from school to university, onto a graduate scheme, into a career, starting a family/going on maternity leave/going back to work, becoming a leader, working from your home country/re-entry, moving jobs internally or externally/being made redundant, breaking a glass ceiling, children leaving home, career breaks, retiring or coping with death.

Life is a constant series of such transitions. Some welcome this in an ‘activist’ way, plunging in without taking stock of the implications and then having a messy rollercoaster ride of ‘ups and downs’. Others over-reflect, to the extent they miss the boat – and some of the transition and work through it – with their ‘brakes’ on hard. Most of us work through in a multitude of ways, embracing the changes, sometimes successfully, sometimes not.

Whatever type of transition it may be, mentoring is a hugely valuable support to individuals on their life journeys. Organisations that instigate mentoring to support their employees through some of these big changes will benefit immensely by having less stressed, better-performing individuals who move through transitions more smoothly.

Mentoring: applied wisdom

In the latest in a series of columns dedicated to mentoring, we look at how to use mentoring for ‘knowledge productivity’ in your organisation. This issue: filling the gap by Lis Merrick

Mentoring can put your employees’ learning and the company’s goals on the same path

An organisation’s knowledge walks out of the door every evening – and it might never come back. How do you store and retain knowledge? Does the organisation have a central knowledge base or a lessons learned process? Or does it rely on individuals and the tacit knowledge that is retained in their memories? What about those little things that are difficult to record – the feelings, intuition and experience often gained through making mistakes and ‘painful’ learning.

Despite the increased emphasis on the importance of intellectual capital within our globalised society/economy, organisations are not good at deploying knowledge, learning from their mistakes to become a true learning or a more knowledge-productive organisation.

Mentoring can offer a path to move knowledge in a deliberate and focused manner around an organisation. It facilitates the transition from ‘knowing’ work experience to becoming ‘wisdom’ or ‘knowledge in action’ that can be applied in the workplace.

Whereas most formal training programmes tend to have little impact in the longer term, learning by doing and mentoring develops a deeper and more profound level of knowledge and eliminates the ‘Knowing-Doing Gap’ identified by Pfeffer and Sutton (1999), who described a gap between the knowledge an organisation possesses and the organisation actually using it or putting it into action.