Ten top tips for business mentoring

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The Forum is working closely with Get Mentoring to support the recruitment and training of thousands of business mentors within the micro, small and medium-sized business sectors.
Those that sign up and are eligible complete a free course available online, via distance learning or at one of the many taught workshops across the UK. The course is accompanied by An Introduction to Business Mentoring, an invaluable workbook which ensures that new mentors develop the skills and tools required and existing mentors reflect on their role.
To give you a flavour of what’s involved, we’ve dipped into the workbook to provide you with top ten tips for mentoring:
  1. A good mentor pulls, they don’t push. They help someone solve their own problems; they don’t solve the problem for them.
  2. Be aware of your personal prejudices, guard against the tendency to exercise emotional censorship by ignoring or blanking out ideas you would rather not hear.
  3. Mentoring is not an excuse for the mentee to moan. So, if they arrive with a list of woes, the mentor’s job is to gently steer them in the right direction.
  4. The mentor’s role is to guide the mentee to look at a wide variety of options and consider alternative courses of action in order to solve problems for themselves, rather than to give them answers or provide solutions.
  5. Mentoring is a two-way process through which both parties derive satisfaction. Success is attained through working together.
  6. Before asking a question, think, why are you asking it? Are you searching for meaningful information or simply trying to break the ice? By using a good question, you can empower the mentee and enable them to really think about the issue, resolve it themselves, and take responsibility for it.
  7. Become an observer.
  8. Avoid becoming someone that speaks and listens to themselves speak. Do what you say you’re going to do. Agree what you’re aiming to achieve through your mentoring and be reliable. People who do what they say they’re going to do inspire trust.
  9. Listen with an open mind. We all have a tendency to resist ideas that are of no personal interest to us. Open your mind and focus on what the person is saying even if you think you’re not interested, you might learn something new.
  10. Show empathy but don’t be afraid to challenge. An open, honest relationship means you can challenge constructively in order to help your mentee to explore a wider viewpoint.

To join the thousands of people getting free business mentoring training as part of this new and exciting initiative, visit www.getmentoring.org.