Mentoring is an important and powerful development tool
These valuable partnerships are designed to help the mentee progress her career by drawing on the experience and support of a more senior mentor. Mentors do this by questioning, challenging and encouraging their mentee to look more closely at herself, her career and her life.
A mentor's goal is for the mentee to become more self-aware, to take responsibility for the direction of her career and life, and believe in herself and her ability to achieve her goals.
We encourage all our participants not to see their mentor as a ‘one-stop-shop’. If someone wants advice on a certain aspect of work (e.g. work-life balance, effectively chairing meetings, authentically raising their profile, etc.) we suggest ‘spot mentoring’. This involves a one-off meeting with an expert in that area. Anyone in our mentor pool can be contacted by course participants for a spot-mentoring session, but we also encourage our participants to approach other people within their organisation to ‘pick their brains’.
Mentoring for Crossing Thresholds
Mentoring partnerships have been one of the cornerstone of Crossing Thresholds since its inception, and over the years we have seen that the women who fully engage in this aspect are the ones who gain greatest benefit. We are privileged to have an active pool of over 1,000 mentors with a wide range of experiences.
Crossing Thresholds mentors commit one hour a month for the year. Ideally meetings are face-to-face, but distance should not be a barrier to a successful mentoring relationship - sessions by telephone, VC and Skype can work well too.
The role of the mentor on Crossing Thresholds is to support the mentee in her learning journey throughout the year, specifically:
- Helping her to clarify her goals and stay focused on what she wants
- Assisting her to take strategic actions and assess the results
- Encouraging her to step out of her comfort zone where necessary
- Challenging any negative assumptions
- Helping her to cope with any setbacks and develop greater resilience
A primary benefit of the course was having a mentor. From our first meeting we clicked. Through the twelve months we looked in detail at what makes me tick at work and what I want from my career. I learned so much about myself from our productive sessions.
Charlotte Barton, Compliance Team, Home Office