Topics of Interest Sessions: Another way to build mentoring capability and sustainability

I completed a mentoring programme evaluation for an organisation last year which highlighted many good practices as well as some areas where a little extra support for the people involved – the mentors, mentees, programme coordinators – would significantly elevate, increase and extend the programme quality.

In my report, one of my recommendations was that the organisation incorporate ‘Topics of Interest’ sessions – a range of 1-2 hour training sessions aimed at providing opportunities for mentors, mentees and programme coordinators to engage in ongoing development, maintain a regular focus on their mentoring practice, and upskill in areas which would enhance and build their mentoring capability. From a logistical point, I suggested scheduling three sessions of two-hour duration during the year.

So, not a major additional commitment or resource, but certainly a value-add to the programme and for the people participating in this, in their various mentoring roles.

Examples of ‘Topics of Interest’ sessions can include:

  • Skilful questioning techniques
  • Effective feedback practice
  • Purposeful, powerful conversations (having the hard-to-have conversations)
  • Building resilience
  • Conflict resolution
  • The mentor as story-teller

And, these sessions could be in the form of:

  • A webinar or webinar series
  • Face to face and/or online training sessions
  • Using a CoP meeting time as a mini training/information-sharing session

If you are interested in incorporating Topics of Interest sessions in your mentoring programme, please contact me as I can help you set up and/or facilitate these sessions (plus other topics not listed) in your programme.