In 2004, David Clutterbuck, co-founder and lifetime ambassador of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council, coined a useful acronym for what mentors do:
Manage the relationship
Offer mutual respect
Respond to the learner’s needs
At first, the mentor is likely to take responsibility for developing the relationship, setting the scene and boundaries. As the relationship develops these things generally sort themselves out and don’t have to be so carefully engineered. The mentor also needs to take responsibility for the process of meetings and the relationship more generally, for example making sure that a learning contract has been agreed, however informal, and that periodic reviews are held, just to make sure that it is still working for both parties.
As time passes and the relationship develops, the mentee is likely to become more confident and take on more of the responsibility, especially for what is discussed.
Author: CMI Southern mentoring champion, Dan Carey
Daniel enjoys a career in business improvement, management development, and productivity, helping both business owners and managers in aspects of business administration, business growth, knowledge transfer and best practice. He is a member of the Chartered Management Institute’s Southern Regional Board and has the responsibility for championing mentoring.