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Mentor training and mentor systems


I have been engaged to design and deliver a 1/2 day mentor program for about 20 people who have acted as mentors in an informal way for 1-2 years. The organisation also wants to put more structure into its mentoring scheme. Any ideas on either training content given the time constraint and what a well structured system might look like?
Trevor Satour

6 Responses

  1. Clarity of scope, process and boundaries
    Hi Trevor:

    Have a look at the EMCC’s ethical code at which covers:
    * Competence
    * Context
    * Boundary Management
    * Integrity
    * Professionalism

    I agree with you that you can’t achieve good standards like these unless your mentors – and, I’d argue, mentees too – get a launch workshop then ongoing support plus some form of ‘supervision’ for the mentors. One such is below – hope it’s useful! Get back to me if you want the contents also (they won’t fit into word limit here).

    Kind regards

    Nick McBain FCIPD

    * * *
    Summary of training for mentors and mentees

    To enable safe, high-performance mentoring partnerships by providing participants with what they need to maximise the benefits: knowledge and skills, and clarity on scope, boundaries & process.

    To enable participants to:
    · understand what mentoring is, what it offers, and what it does not offer
    · have a clear understanding of the scope boundaries and process of mentoring
    · understand the skills, knowledge and behaviour required for effective mentoring
    · improve recognition of their own strengths or development needs as mentors or mentees
    · feel prepared for agreeing a mentoring contract with potential mentor or mentee
    · be aware of potential pitfalls and of guidance to pre-empt or deal with these
    · (mentors only) self-assess against the criteria for a good mentor; in threes practice and receive feedback on the skills used in mentoring
    · (mentees only) compare experiences of good developmental management; understand ways to maximise the support and challenge available from a mentor
    · know what follow-up support is available.

  2. Feedback and coaching skills for mentors
    Dear Trevor,
    Our 30+ years of experience has proven that the feedback and coaching skills of mentors are critical to their success. In one half day, I would focus on the following: Identifying mutual expectations; Negotiating agreements; Feedback skills; Coaching skills; and problem solving for the relationship. margo murray

  3. Mentoring Contracts
    When I first started doing sessions for mentors I thought that the idea of a contract was too formal. Over the years I have found that a contract is very useful in helping both sides work out what they want to achieve, how often they will meet and what they will give to the arrangement. I have a contract that I have used which I can share with you if you want to email me
    Hope it goes well

  4. define mentor
    Hi Trevor, There are a number of ways of looking at your situation and the comments of others carry a lot of validity. Rather than view the initial half day as a training programme it may be worthwhile considering it more as a data collection exercise to find out if the delegates have a consistent view of the mentor role and what a mentor isn’t. By defining the mentor roles and responsibilities and by the use of self assessments the delegates can create a gap matrix thus defining their future training needs.Aligned to this discussions can take place around who makes arrangements, who monitors and who evaluates a more formal process.
    The information collected can then be used to create an effective ongoing training programme within a clearly defined process.
    If you wish to discuss this further please contact me and we can talk.
    Good Luck

    Hi Trevor
    In recent similar work, I have found the CIPD’s new handbook “Coaching and Buying Coaching Services” to have some very clear and useful tables. Among others, they clearly set out the differences between coaching and mentoring, which are often jumbled. The other classic work, of course, is Parsloe and Wray – Coaching and Mentoring. Hope this helps.

  6. combining structure of the scheme with developing the workshop
    I would agree wholeheartedly with having a clear structure for the scheme, which would include a contract setting out the parameters of the scheme(eg. frequency of meetings,confidentiality,any record-keeping, evaluation,participation in training to develop their skills etc). You could then use this as a basis for the workshop that could cover beginnings (eg establishing rapport), setting goals, listening and questioning skills, action planning and endings. As they have been mentoring already, then they could use their own experiences within this structure to see what goes well for them and where there may be pitfalls or areas they can develop.


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