Mentoring is about receiving good advice from someone who has been down the road you are on now, had a similar experience, and can now offer you the benefit of that experience: in other words, someone who has been there before.
Mentoring is therefore subtly different from coaching, guidance or counselling, but may well contain elements of those processes too, because it will help you to decide what you wish to do in your situation, to achieve the best outcome.
Why have a mentor?
- Free help from someone who has been there before;
- A problem shared: someone who will listen without judging;
- Honest feedback on your business or your life from someone with no axe to grind;
- A Christian as well as a business viewpoint on your concerns
- Give something back
- Learn from new people and situations
- Challenge yourself by helping someone else
Why be a mentor?
How can I find a mentor?
One way is to contact our [Mentoring Co-ordinator], who will hold a list of members who have offered to act as mentors when asked, and who will carefully match you with the most suitable mentor for your needs. (With your permission, he may share this matching process with other members of the CBL Board, to help ensure the best ‘fit’.)
The other way is to make your own choice. For example:-
- Think of the other CBL members you know. Who do you get on with? Who would you feel comfortable talking to?
- It’s usually wise for a man to have a male mentor and for a woman to have a female mentor.
- Approach the person you have in mind, and ask if they are willing to mentor you.
- If they agree, arrange to meet so you can get to know each other and help your mentor-to-be to understand why you are looking for mentoring and what you hope to get from it.
- At the end of this meeting, make a mutual decision about whether to go ahead and where and how often you’ll meet.
If you approach someone who then feels unable to be your mentor, that’s disappointing; however, try not to be offended: they may be very busy or just not confident that they can offer the help you need. Think about someone else you can ask, or speak to the [Mentoring Co-ordinator].
If you do find a mentor, please also let the [Mentoring Co-ordinator] know so he can keep an overview of all CBL support activity currently under way. (You don’t need to say what you’re discussing with your mentor.)
How can I become a mentor?
either: let the [Mentoring Co-ordinator] know you are interested, and indicate the areas (eg sectors or topics) with which you feel able to offer help;
or: just wait for another member to approach you personally.