Our approach to mentoring and coaching
mch’s involvement in mentoring and coaching is threefold:
- Helping individuals through 1:1 mentoring. This forms the basis of this section of the website. Click through the various pages above to find out more.
- Training people to become mentors or coaches. Get in touch to discuss your training needs, or read an example of our coaching training by clicking here.
- Designing and delivering mentoring programmes. mch can help you design and deliver your mentoring programme. It has helped design, deliver and evaluate mentoring programmes both in the UK and overseas. Please get in touch if you’d like to find out how mch can help with your programme.
For those unfamiliar with the distinctions between mentoring and coaching, please review the following mch briefing paper. For more resources on mentoring and coaching please go to mch’s resource centre.
Definition of mentoring
“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.”
mch does not prescribe to any one definition of mentoring. Our views are best described by regarding mentoring as a relationship with the following characteristics:
- Focus. As the mentee, you are the focus of mentoring.
- Roles. Given the focus, you set the agenda. At times, the mentor may challenge that agenda, but ultimately their role is to facilitate it.
- Scope. The scope is your life. While we often try to compartmentalise our lives, mch believes different areas invariably influence others (e.g. what’s going on outside of work will influence our work and vice versa). However, as you control the agenda, you decide how much of your life to bring to mentoring.
- Source of Influence. Mentoring is a power free relationship. The mentor’s influence is purely down to the value you believe they bring.
Given the above characteristics, mch considers mentoring an umbrella term for a range of potential relationships. The extent and timing of each potential relationship will depend on the issue being dealt with, your preferences and what the mentor thinks will be most valuable. Consequently, in addition to reflective conversations, mentoring can also involve iterating a key document together or gaining feedback on an important presentation you want to deliver. Mentoring is:
- Not just about talking. It’s about doing.
- Not just for life’s big decisions (e.g. Should I accept a new job?). It is also for the day to day (e.g. How can I present my views more effectively?)
- Not just for moments of crisis. It’s also for making good times even better.
One relationship that is not covered by mentoring is counselling. Consequently, while your life as a whole remains in scope, if mch considers that certain issues require specialist counselling or therapy then it would discuss ways to obtain such assistance, rather than the issue itself.