30/01/2012

By Janice Murray, Mentor Match Me

Both the public and private sector giants have, and continue to, hail mentoring as the route to success. This support for mentoring is now filtering into businesses across the UK with over a third of managers recently surveyed by the Chartered Management Institute wanting to develop their coaching and mentoring skills as a key part of their development strategy.

The mentoring revolution has begun.

However, who is a mentor and what can mentoring do for you?

I’d actually argue that we are all mentors. In one way or another we all help to guide others to make informed choices.

Whether you realise it or not, I’d guarantee that you’ve been mentored in the past. There’s been someone who’s helped shape the person you are and what you’ve managed to achieve. Conversely, there’ll be someone out there who sees you as a guiding force in their work or personal life.

In my mind a mentor is a signpost. They use their experience to guide, enlighten, encourage and inspire their mentee. They set someone on the right path and point out the stumbling blocks they may find on the way – ultimately helping them to reach their goal.

The benefits of being mentored are obvious, however, on first inspection the reasons for being a mentor are less clear cut.

Having experienced being matched with a mentor 1st hand, and given up my time to mentor others, I’ve been in a position to see both sides of the coin. On one hand, having a mentor helping me and my business grow and prosper which was invaluable. I’ll be eternally grateful for the time, energy and expertise invested in me and my business.

Surprisingly, it was during my time as a mentor that I learnt, and in many ways, got more from my mentoring experience.

Not only is it the personal fulfilment from investing in others, but mentoring is a two way street with the mentor learning just as much from the relationship. It is a rewarding challenge which can allow you to build skills and inspire as well as be inspired yourself. These really are skills that WILL benefit you, your staff and your business as a whole.

For me, and many others who’ve had their eyes opened by the world of mentoring, it is tough to quantify truly how much you take away as a mentor.

For me, I personally feel like a more rounded, enlightened person. The experience invigorated not only my passion for work and the industry as a whole, but also opened my eyes to new possibilities and opportunities.

It was this life changing experience that gave me a real light-bulb-moment and that led me to set up www.MentorMatchMe.com

Open to anyone wanting to benefit from mentoring, the service aims to match willing mentors with those who’re searching for a mentor to complete a challenge.

Using new software, we will match information and ‘challenges’ posted by those looking to be mentored, with the skills and experience of the mentors we work with. If a good match is made, the programme will alert possible mentors, where they can choose whether or not to take on the mentee’s challenge.

The mentor would commit to a short period of free mentoring at the convenience of both you and your mentee at which point the relationship would continue independently.

There is no obligation to take up a challenge immediately and if, for whatever reason, the mentoring chemistry is not right, we will re-post the challenge and match a new mentor to the challenge.