What are the main upsides of mentoring for the mentor, the mentee and the organisation?
Mentoring allows established and new talent to meet and engage with one another, offering both parties the chance to succeed, progress and learn new skills.
For the mentor, it makes you question your own judgement and existing management style. It really makes you think about career development and if you are doing enough for your own people. The point is not to give answers but for the mentee to come to their own conclusion - this also makes you reappraise much of what you think is right and wrong. It's good to give back and rewarding to see a mentee improve in confidence and skill base.
For the organisation, it’s also a reflective experience. By mentoring somebody who may come from outside of your industry or business, you have the opportunity to learn about their practices and culture – some of which you may be able to apply to your own organisation. It can be a good benchmarking tool.
The mentees themselves have the opportunity to learn skills from someone who has been there, seen it and done it. It is a place to discuss things candidly and, if there are other mentees on a programme, it gives the opportunity to network and discuss what may be the same issues.
What does a good mentoring relationship look like?
It is important if you take part in a mentoring programme that both sides are strongly committed. Regularity is critical. Productive mentoring cannot happen if meetings are sporadic - once the dates are diarised, do them. Face-to-face is best, although how you meet absolutely depends on what the mentee wants from the mentorship. I always think a change of scenery and new surroundings are good as it sparks new conversations and areas.
Should mentoring veer into personal growth, or stay strictly business and career focused?
Work life harmony is where it's at, and it's important to look how work can balance with lifestyle. A mentee will want to supercharge their career but it is key they are reminded that balance is vital and for them not to neglect their personal commitments. Self-management is a crucial trait to hone.
Andrew Mosley is general manager of The Grand Hotel, Brighton, and a mentor for Fast Forward 15, a programme that aims to inspire and empower women in the events and hospitality industries.