As a charity employee, can I get a mentor?
Today is #GoodNewsFriday and this week we delve into our Personal Development mentoring programme which is devoted to maximizing the leadership skills of small charities by providing their staff members with a mentor (from the corporate sector) who can share their own extensive and varied expertise in the corporate sector with the charity with the aim of helping the charity staff develop their skills and abilities and as well as building organisational capacity. For this programme, we at GlobalGiving UK partnered with Salesforce and linked their expert staff members with 17 charities.
One of the small charities that benefits from a Salesforce partnership is Pursuing Independent Paths (PIP). PIP is a local London charity that works with adults with learning disabilities and equips them with valuable skills for the future. Their innovative Community Development Project provides much needed assistance to isolated individuals and families and allows networks and local circles of support to develop. This week, we caught up with Bill, PIP’s director and asked him to share his experiences from working with his Salesforce Mentor JL Moura. They started their monthly meetings in September 2015.
Here are Bill’s top 4 tips on how to make the most of having a mentor:
Chemistry is everything
“Chemistry is extremely important to ensure a positive and inspiring mentor /mentee relationship. There needs to be the right blend of personalities to ensure a good working relationship and a safe space in which to work through issues. If the chemistry doesn’t feel right start again.”
It takes time to establish a relationship
“Participating in the strategic mentoring programme has been incredibly useful and rewarding both in developing professional skills but also in helping me to build PIP’s organisational capacity. The benefits derived through participating have more than compensated for the time taken to establish an effective working relationship. It is important for both the mentor and the mentee to devote time to establish the relationship and build trust.”
Don’t expect answers
“Mentors are there to provide you with an ear to listen and give an objective viewpoint. They do not have organisational or sector knowledge so don’t expect them to provide all the answers. JL has provided some many useful insights into how I should tackle particular issues and that has been extremely enlightening.”
Pre-plan and follow up on your sessions
”It might sound obvious but it is good practice to pre plan your mentoring sessions. I usually go into the session either with a new issue to discuss or I pick up on the progress and development of an issue previously touched upon. Before the meeting, I’ll send JL an email with a suggested agenda prior to the meeting so he has time to reflect and think about the topic. Then afterwards we both email each other thanking the other one for their time and also sharing reflections from the session.”
For more information about PIP, check out their project https://www.globalgiving.co.uk/donate/9602/pip-pursuing-independent-paths/
To express interest in being mentored or if you are interested in being a mentor please email email@example.com.