One to one mentoring is a key part of the Leading Learning programme and provides the opportunity for participants to pick up on aspects of their 360 degree review, particular issues faced at work or perhaps elements of the taught sessions or all three. This is a rare opportunity to focus on personal development issues on a 1:1 basis.
Business in the Arts:North West (BIA:NW) designed this part of the programme having run mentoring programmes for a number of years. Vivienne Tyler (BIA:NW) and Sue Isherwood act as the key contact people.
The mentors are largely drawn from people who work, or have worked, at first or second tier levels in local government; they are volunteers and are motivated by the wish to put something back into the sector. They have a range of personal styles and career experience, but crucially we believe they will make good mentors. Matches are made on the basis of the needs of the mentee, whether the two parties are likely to establish a rapport and geography.
Benefits frequently include, amongst others, increased confidence, clearer goals and a plan to achieve them, enhanced influencing and political skills and improved team leadership. The most dramatic result was one mentee who achieved two promotions during the course of the relationship, for which the mentee gave significant credit to the mentor.
The programme is a structured one and experience has proved that this brings the best and most tangible results. Both mentors and mentees separately attend induction sessions which are designed to ensure that the understanding and expectation of the programme are shared. The inductions also explore a range of issues that may arise during a relationship and highlight how to get the most out of mentoring.
Each mentee will have supplied a CV, job description and registration form and will have had a conversation with a mentoring co-ordinator so that their aims are clarified. After matching, each party reviews the other's paperwork and if both are willing, a first meeting is set up. Following this meeting there is a 2 or 3 day cooling off period after which both sides will be contacted to check that they are happy to proceed or wish to be re-matched. At the second meeting an agreement form is completed. This defines the overall objective of the relationship and the development areas that are going to be considered in order to achieve the objective.
The expectation is that mentees will have around nine face to face sessions of 1½ to 2 hours with their mentor, though there may be contact between the meetings. The mentee generally travels to the mentor place of work or nearby venue, though we suggest that the mentor visits the mentee's workplace if at all possible.
All relationships are monitored by BIA:NW to check that all is going well, but the co-ordinators are always available, to both mentees and mentors, should any problems arise.
For many, mentoring is the most rewarding part of the Leading Learning programme, but it requires commitment. The old adage, that you get out as much (often more) than you put in, certainly applies.
Previous participants have said:
This has been a very positive experience for me and I really appreciate the support and guidance that [mentor] has so generously given me. I have met many of the objectives set and feel confident that as a result of the mentoring I am better equipped to continue to improve on not only these objectives but new challenges as they arise in the future.
I found my mentor to be a fantastic asset and have found [mentor] to be supportive, challenging, interesting and extremely knowledgeable in a range of fields. Having this opportunity has been invaluable to me as this year has been a challenging one for my service and having this relationship has helped me navigate some really difficult issues. I found this to be the best element of the NCF leading learning course in respect of my learning needs and I am pleased [mentor] is keen to meet beyond the closure of the first phase.
Leading Learning Year 7 report now available
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Resilience support now available
The NLCF Leading Learning Programme has developed a package of specialist in-house learning, development and improvement support. This support has been specifically created to help leaders, teams and partnerships within the culture, leisure and sport sector to develop enhanced workplace resilience.
Master Class Series: workplace resilience
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