Benefit from being involved

Benefit from being involved

I decided to get involved in the Community Works Mentoring Programme for two reasons.  Firstly as someone new in role I thought that it would be useful to have some mentoring – someone independent to sense check worries and concerns that I had in relation to my new role.  Secondly I thought that it would be good for the organisation that I was leading.  I came into role at a time of change, so to have someone mentoring me as I was leading this change felt important – and it was indeed valuable!

Being a mentee involved being committed to roughly eight sessions with my mentor.  After an initial matching workshop, I was paired up with a mentor and we met for a first session to agree what we wanted to cover in the following sessions and then we went from there, meeting monthly to talk through actions and updates.

It was important to be open and honest in each session as well as being prepared to be challenged and encouraged to see things from a different view point.  It was important to make space in the diary for the session and to follow up on any actions that had been agreed – that said, there was an understanding that that’s not always as easy as it sounds, to that end I found the process flexible!

The most significant change that took place for me as a result was that it made me step back and look at me, my skills and the things that I want from professional development.  I went into the process with a long list I wanted to achieve organisationally.  Mentoring though forced me to step back and focus personally, which has been extremely useful and without doubt had a ripple effect organisationally too – win-win!

I benefited hugely from being involved.  Having the space each month for 60-90 minutes to reflect and plan was invaluable.  I have also taken away a number of ‘mentor top tips’ that I apply now – mainly to my own logic and planning, but I think for me that has been the point of the experience – it has made me approach things differently.

Without doubt I would recommend the mentoring programme as I found it to be inspiring and very useful to me personally.  The support that mentoring gave me helped me become a more confident and hopefully competent leader.

Written by Daniel Cheesman, CEO of Switchboard and mentee

“I benefited hugely from being involved. Having the space each month for 60-90 minutes to reflect and plan was invaluable. ”

“I benefited hugely from being involved. Having the space each month for 60-90 minutes to reflect and plan was invaluable. ”

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