Mentoring: Finding A UK Mentor
Many people across the UK are yet to fully explore and yield the benefits of mentoring. In the first instance, many individuals are not aware of the difference between coaching and mentoring - with many people believing that they both deliver the same service.
This is of course very understandable, with this article aiming to outline similarities and differences, as well as complete a deep dive into the world of mentorship, comprehensively. Let’s go.
What is Mentoring?
So what is mentoring? A mentor is an experienced and trusted adviser, who supports others to achieve their goals and objectives. Those who are mentors are often highly authentic, engaging and dependable; enabling them to build relationships with the mentee. They provide guidance which enables the mentee to work towards achieving tangible goals, with this guidance being given across numerous one-to-one sessions.
From the offset, a good mentor will look to identify their mentee’s challenges, as well as consider the style of mentorship required in order to maximise the value of each session - depending on the mentee’s personality and objectives. This initial introduction is followed by discussion, with the mentor then guiding the session.
Mentoring vs Coaching
At this point, it is important to outline the difference between coaching and mentoring.
A mentor is an individual who looks to share their knowledge, skills and experiences, with a view to supporting another person's development
A coach is an individual who provides guidance and frameworks for clients, supporting them in setting goals and reaching their potential
Mentors tend to help people based on their own experience, having developed an understanding of a particular field, whether that be entrepreneurship, business development or organisational relationships. A mentor aims to reflect their knowledge in each session, often having a relatively direct approach to learning. They have direct experience and thereby can support those wishing to achieve similar feats - helping them to build confidence, experience and interpersonal skills.
For coaching, there is a slightly less direct approach to learning; something defined as more non-directive. This means that the coach will likely place a greater emphasis on listening to their client as opposed to giving direct advice. Coaches aim to create an environment in which clients can express their goals and challenges, with a view to then helping clients set out goals and plans.
Mentors tend to not have a specific mentor accreditation to their name. They are a mentor due to their experience and niche skill sets - with specific mentor training or mentoring courses less widespread. This is opposed to coaching, where there is more of an emphasis on receiving coaching accreditations.
Although goal setting and frameworks may be used in mentoring sessions, it is likely that mentoring sessions follow less of a structure. Conversely, coaching tends to have more structured sessions, often being supported or facilitated by companies.
Mentoring has a developmental objective for the mentee, where sessions enable individuals to develop their topic understanding as well as their personal relationship with the mentor. Coaching tends to be more goal orientated and performance focused; setting goals which support cochees to perform in their chosen field. This point, in addition to the above, should help you to decide whether coaching or mentoring is best for you
Mentoring Sessions: What To Expect
Now that you have known the difference between coaching and mentoring, it is time to take a deep dive into the mentoring process.
Mentoring is a process whereby you are being guided by someone who is more experienced towards the achievement of set goals. It’s an opportunity for two individuals to develop a trusted, long-term relationship.
The process will see the mentee supported and encouraged, on a roadmap towards maximising their potential in life - with session outcomes dependent on the strength of the partnership. The process of mentoring itself extends beyond expert guidance. Instead, it also entails helping individuals to build the confidence and character which can enable them to be the best versions of themselves.
Have you ever been inspired by an individual, whether that be because of their credentials, experiences or character? If you have, talking to such an individual would undoubtedly support your journey to achieving your goals. Such an eagerness can help to optimise the mentee experience of mentoring. It could be learning a particular skill in an informal environment, which can enhance your business. It’s also important to note that before any end goal or result from the sessions can be achieved, there needs to be an informal relationship between the mentor and mentee. This will help the mentee to develop trust in the mentor and have the confidence to ask important questions which provide a deeper level of insight. This should help you to better understand the mentoring process
Benefits Of Mentoring
There are many ways a mentor can be of help to you develop both personally and professionally. Here we explore just a few of the many benefits of mentoring:
Learning From Experienced People
A mentor is someone who has vast experience in your chosen field - which is the primary reason they are able to offer mentorship. Therefore, sessions enable you to gain insight which also has real life application. Learning from a more experienced individual helps accelerate your learning and understand proven steps which have worked for others.
Achievement Of Goals
Do you have a particular goal in life? It could be about starting a business and growing it to become competitive; or it could be achieving sporting accolades. Without a mentor or expert guidance for that matter, the road to achieving both short term and long term targets may often involve uncertainty and guesswork. Sometimes, it takes individuals far longer than necessary to work towards achieving their desired outcomes; with mentorship offering the opportunity to accelerate your progress.
A mentor provides quality learning, faster than you could achieve through trial and error. This is because you are tapping into a wealth of experience; with this being one of the greatest benefits of coaching and mentoring.
Maximising Your Potential
For you to get the best from your potential, one thing is certain. A third perspective on situations is a valuable asset; helping you to identify your blind spots. Mentors help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses which will enable you to make adjustments to your approach; all with the intention of helping you to maximise your potential.
What Are The Types Of Mentoring
Here are examples of the types of mentoring you can experience, with experts often having niche role titles:
How To Find A Mentor: Mentoring Qualities
So how do you find a mentor in the UK? The reality is that such professionals are often very accessible; especially when you look in the right places. Initial ideas would be LinkedIn, networking events or coaching platforms such as Adviice, to name just a few - as the rise of online mentors continues.
This section will look to list some of the traits to look for in the best UK mentors. Such traits will ensure that you maximise the value of your experience.
When it comes to finding a mentor in the UK, there are lots of factors you need to consider. This is to ensure you are getting support from someone who has been successful over the years, and is credible in their field. Selecting the right expert is crucial in ensuring that you experience the true benefits of coaching and mentoring. After all, you are investing in your personal development and deserve such quality. Whether you are searching for a mental health mentor or someone who is specialised in giving out business advice - the underlying factor is that you need someone who is a proven operator.
1. Your Mentor Shows Enthusiasm
Before mentoring can provide lasting impact, there has to be a relationship between the mentor and mentee. When this happens, a trust is built between both parties. Is the mentor paying attention to what you are saying? Are they excited to meet you and do they listen attentively when you talk? These are all signs that your chosen mentor is focused on helping you and providing you with the attention necessary.
The very last thing you want to do is hire a mentor who is not truly interested in your story or challenges! Successful coaching and mentoring is all about showing passion towards the problems individuals are experiencing and wanting to express. A mentor who doesn’t take pride in their mentees will render little or no help to you! Therefore, always look for someone who is passionate about helping you. The best mentors are excited to support your journey and provide guidance they wished they had been provided with in the past.
2. Always Learning
Successful coaching and mentoring involves a continuous learning process. Across the UK, the very best mentors are constantly improving their knowledge and techniques towards maximising the impact of sessions with a mentee. New methods and frameworks for feedback, communication styles, and mentee activities, ensure that their approach is always evolving over time.
The importance of continuous learning in mentorship is often underestimated; with some mentors fixed in their methods of teaching and feedback. Mentors which optimise a growth mindset look to attend seminars, conferences and workshops to enhance their industry knowledge. They continue to seek challenges regardless of their success; constantly updating their knowledge.
3. Teaching Style
When it comes to selecting a mentor, there are numerous individuals you can choose from. It's important to find someone who adopts a teaching style that works best for you - whether that be more directive or non-directive.
A mentor who expresses their willingness to provide you with tailored sessions, will serve you best in the long run.
4. Provides Constructive Feedback
Mentors understand how to provide constructive feedback. This feedback system allows for an honest perspective on your current ways of working; and is one of the tangible benefits you can gain from mentoring.
Each and every very session should provide the opportunity for constructive feedback. Tailor recommendations from a mentor with your best intentions in mind are so important! Make sure that this is in place from the outset.
5. Treats Others With Respect
This is another important trait to look out for when seeking a mentor. The best mentors speak with courtesy, often carefully selecting their choice of words. Words are capable of motivating or discouraging the mentee; and a mentor with high emotional intelligence will approach sessions with a respect for the mentee’s base understanding.
This loops back to a previous point around the importance of establishing a healthy relationship between the mentor and mentee - based on trust and respect. None of us need a mentor who is judgmental or biased! A mentor should understand how to communicate effectively; inspiring and encouraging the mentee to continue their journey.
6. Listens Attentively
A mentor’s ability to listen is as important as their ability to provide expert guidance.
Successful mentors pay close attention and listen to their mentees. This allows them to then ask the right questions and provide tailored recommendations. By doing so, mentors are able to understand the issues their clients are facing. Mentors who consider their advice before speaking out loud will serve you best.
The above has looked to pinpoint some of the key qualities of a mentor, and the characteristics to look out for when identifying an excellent mentor. Find a mentor who shares your passion - with the very best UK mentors helping you to build the confidence, expertise and roadmap for performing at your peak. Here, you can learn more information about what every mentor should do.
How To Be A Good Mentor
When it comes to mentoring individuals, it’s important to note key elements which help to derive positive results. This section looks to reveal some of the most powerful tips for how to become a mentor, to optimise the value of your sessions, whilst trying to support and encourage those who seek your expertise.
1. Building A Relationship
This is perhaps the most important element to effective mentoring - developing healthy, trusted relationships with the mentee. Before any positive change can be achieved, there needs to be a positive relationship between a mentor and mentee in order for guidance to be trusted and appreciated.
2. Develop A Positive Mindset
Successful mentors are those who promote a positive, growth mindset from a position that is authentic - meaning mentors must have a positive mindset of their own if they are advocating its importance. In other words, the best mentors have developed the right mindset that has enabled them to bounce back from setbacks throughout their own personal journey.
In order to become a better mentor, you must be a source of positive energy and mindset. Mentorship is all about helping people develop a strong mindset towards the challenges they are facing, forging a mindset whereby challenges are seen as an opportunity for growth and learning rather than despair and difficulty.
3. Listen Attentively
Mentoring involves encouraging people, but it is also incredibly important to have the ability to listen attentively, creating an environment of support and empathy. Guidance can not be effectively provided without having a sincere understanding of what someone is going through. Listen with genuine compassion. Following this, you will be able to provide contributions tailored to the specific objectives of the mentee; and create a mutually beneficial relationship.
The benefits of having a mentor are plentiful. You can enhance your learning and rapidly accelerate the journey towards your definition of success. Take advantage of a mentors willingness to teach and inspire; as it might just give you every insight you could wish for (and more).
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