As of April 2016, we have introduced a new mentoring programme at Meridian Speakers.
How to sign up for mentoring
Programme in a nutshell
Buddy System – Peer support, where two people work together to give each other feedback, support and advice on areas of development.
4 month rotation – the mentoring relationship will last for 4 months, after that you will be re-allocated to a new mentor. This will give you a chance to work with other members with different expertise.
Goal setting worksheet – we encourage you to clarify your gaols so that you can define your current learning needs, which will enable you to brain storm ways to reach those goals. It gives you a starting platform to structure your development and also it gives your mentor a clear idea of what your needs are and how to support you.
Evaluation – We will be asking you for your views and feedback on progress; so that we can respond better to your needs as much as possible.
Code of conduct – We have put together a guidance list of acceptable behaviours in line with the Toastmasters International values of Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence. We would like all our members to act with patience, respect and integrity towards each other, as we would like this to be a safe and supportive environment for everyone to develop and grow. We are here to support each other.
Facilitative Mentoring / Coaching – we would like to introduce a more facilitative coaching style where you are encouraged to use skills of questioning, listening and clarifying so that you can prompt your mentee to define their own issues and solutions. This method is very much constructive and works on tapping into the individual’s intrinsic motivation (internal need and interest in developing in a certain area) rather than a militant ‘push’ approach. You can give feedback, suggestions and encouragement to motivate, however, at Meridian Speakers we always remind club members that our feedback is our personal opinion, if the mentee does not share the same view, that is ok. Different people work at their own unique pace.
Resource and Workshops – following on from the above we are not expecting you to do something without providing you with the support to becoming a skilful mentor. We will be providing links to various resources, online videos and workshops to guide you in your journey, look out for it on meridianspeakers.org, articles and emails.
The programme is designed to enable club members to gain the following benefits:
- One-to-one support
- A chance to discuss and clarify your learning needs
- Define development goals
- Brain storm solutions and ways to meet those goals
- Receive support and guidance on your journey to becoming confident communicators and leaders
- Share experiences and learn from your peers
- Practice and hone your skills in a safe and supportive environment
- Give and receive constructive feedback
- Recognition from peers through participation and contribution as you develop
- Gain certificates in the communication and leadership projects
More about mentoring and coaching
According to the CIPD board (the professional governing body for HR and People Development), coaching and mentoring is very interchangeable and similar. The only difference is that in mentoring, the relationship is ongoing and much longer than in coaching, also the mentor is usually a more experienced person. In coaching the relationship is short term and the coach does not need to be an expert in the particular field, a coach is much more facilitative and uses questions to motivate, prompt and direct the coachee to identify their own needs, goals and solution, then provides support for the coachee during their development through feedback, new perspective and insight.
At the Meridian Speakers we have a hybrid system, a cross between mentoring and coaching, it is a peer support, buddy system where two people are matched as closely as possible according to their level of experience and/or needs so that they can help each other with their progress and development.
The programme operates on a 4 month mentoring rotation system, this means that the mentoring relationships will last for 4 months after that you will be re-allocated to a new mentor. This is because your development needs will change over a period of time, working with different mentors with different qualities will help you to make the best use of the different expertise and support available within the club as you progress.
The CIPD board goes on to explain that ‘Mentoring involves the use of the same models and skills of questioning, listening, clarifying and reframing associated with coaching’. So we use the word coaching every now and then and that’s only because of the type of work we are doing which is similar to coaching.
We wish you all success in your journey to becoming amazing communicators and leaders!
Rezina is the mentoring co-ordinator at the Meridian Speakers Club. By profession she is a learning and development consultant. She is also a member of the CIPD board, which is a professional governing body for HR and People Development.