Posts

MENTORING: DON’T RUSH RAPPORT

Lis Merrick explores how a lack of trust can ruin mentoring relationships in formal programmes and how good design can prevent it Over the past year, several mentoring programmes I have been working on have experienced real difficulties with trust among their participants. What is going on? Since the 2008 recession, many organisations have been forced to take steps to reduce costs, including redundancies, reduced working hours, cuts or freezes in pay and other benefits and restrictions on recruitment and promotion. This job insecurity has led to distrust among employees. I believe this is also symptomatic of a wider lack […]

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COACHING AT WORK AWARD WINNERS 2017

PRESS RELEASE – 11 July 2017 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE A host of movers and shakers received accolades for their contributions to the coaching profession, at this year’s Coaching at Work Awards.   The awards were announced by editor Liz Hall at a ceremony at the end of the annual Coaching at Work conference in London on 5 July, which was then followed by a reception sponsored by Erickson Coaching International to celebrate the awards.   Award winners were given a plaque if they got ‘first `prize’ and a certificate if they came second (Highly commended). A full conference report, with photographs of the […]

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MENTORING: TALK TO THE FACE

Lis Merrick considers the increasing trend in both virtual mentoring and delivering such programmes virtually In my early mentoring consultancy, it was usual for mentoring pairs to meet face-to-face and for preparation to be one or two days of face-to-face training for mentors and possibly mentees. Nowadays, about half of the mentoring programmes I work on use virtual mentoring as standard and approximately 80% of the mentoring programmes I deliver use virtual training and supervision to develop and support their participants. Many mentors and mentees don’t get the chance to meet at all!   What is ‘virtual mentoring’? Quite simply, […]

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MENTORING: GO GIRLS, GO!

Lis Merrick explores the most recent innovative practice in mentoring female talent Women’s presence on the board has been proven to add competitive advantage to a business (Grant Thornton International; Davies Review, both 2015). Yet, despite about the same number of women and men in the workforce, there’s still an imbalance in favour of men in more senior leadership roles. Over the past two decades, many employers have shown enthusiastic commitment to gender diversity, and women have made enormous strides to compete with men at work. Mentoring and sponsor programmes have been successful in helping erode this gender imbalance and […]

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STURGEON WILL MENTOR YOUNG WOMAN FOR A YEAR

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has launched a competition to find a woman between 18 and 23 years old to mentor for a year. She’s also called on women in leadership roles to follow her example and become mentors too. “I’m determined to play my personal part by becoming a mentor and I would urge other women in leadership roles to do the same. Together, we can be female role models for the next generation and encourage and empower young women to discover their own leadership potential,” she said. “It is not acceptable in 2017 for women to be under-represented in […]

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MENTORING: GROWING UP WITH THE INTERNET

In our latest column on mentoring, Lis Merrick explores successful practice in mentoring for Millennials   By 2020 half the working population globally will come from the generation born between 1980 and 2000, so it’s really important to consider generational differences when designing mentoring programmes. Mentoring someone from the Millennial generation (also known as Generation Y) is not textbook developmental mentoring as we know it. Preparing mentors to understand Millennials’ quite different career and value expectations and helping Millennial mentees to get the most from a Generation X (1965-76) or Baby Boomer (1946-64) mentor can be really helpful. Millennials have […]

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MENTORING: CREATING CHEMISTRY

In our latest column on mentoring, we explore how to support cross-cultural mentoring programmes By Lis Merrick We operate in a globalised business environment, where multicultural organisations view their talent globally and where borders are removed when considering flows of tacit knowledge and expertise. Fantastic for opportunity and access to diversity, but it can create difficulties in developing working relationships, and it has its own challenges for mentoring relationships. The programmes I have been working with recently have created stimulating matches, such as a British man with a Chinese woman and a young Dutch graduate with a senior Indian leader. […]

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MENTORING: WORKING IN A VUCA CONTEXT

In our latest column on mentoring, we consider lessons learned from mentoring programmes operating in a VUCA environment By Lis Merrick We live in a VUCA world: volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. From Brexit to terrorist attacks, to the impact of constantly changing technology and financial markets, we all experience a VUCA world first hand. What can we learn from mentoring programmes operating in this context? An increasing amount of technology and social media is being used to deliver mentoring. Most larger organisations use intranet, some with interactive tools such as Yammer, Twitter and LinkedIn. However, few organisations have time […]

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MENTORING: SUPER HERO OR A FRAUD?

In our latest column on mentoring, we consider how some organisational mentors can suffer from a type of ‘Imposter Syndrome’ By Lis Merrick Some recent upskilling of mentors, prompted me to write about this topic. I decided to use a slide outlining common mentoring dilemmas, with several groups of fairly new mentors. It made the point that some mentoring fails because of the mentor’s lack of confidence in their ability. However, the response I received, both within the sessions and from mentors contacting me afterwards, was how much this statement resonated with them and that they felt a bit of […]

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MENTORING: WHAT IS THIS: MENTORING OR COACHING?

In our latest column on mentoring, we look at the confusing trend of how some mentoring programmes are adopting a more tangible coaching approach under the guise of mentoring By Lis Merrick   As a consultant working in the field of mentoring and coaching, I get very used to being asked: “So what is the difference between the two?” In answering, I probably sound as if I am sitting on the fence, especially when I waffle about context and the contract between the pair involved in the developmental dialogue, etc. However, I do like to make a distinction in the […]

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