Become a Mentor
Mentoring can provide additional support to parents as they navigate the transition of integrating work and family life during parental leave and beyond.
Mentoring can improve motivation because it fosters human aspects of building relationships, interconnectedness to the organisation, reduce anxiety and tension as the mentee has a support person to assist in managing the complexities of change and in normalising the experience.
Effective Mentoring can be effective in
Helping people one on one to manage stress and constant change
Facilitate improvements in communication and motivation
Build capability and the sharing of ideas
Build networks and increase connections and social relatedness
Build capability and confidence
The research in this area is clear. Parents seek informal supports, by people who have been there before and have hindsight and experience. The benefit of the mentor relationship is that there is a clear space between experiences, allowing for open sharing without the fear of competitiveness or judgement.
What is mentoring
Sharing of experiences
Building rapport through trust
What it is not
An alternative to career or relationship coaching, counselling or therapy
About giving formal advice on return to work arrangements or other employment matters
Building career and life plans for the mentee
Solving the mentee’s problems
About the mentee outsourcing decision making to the mentor
A compulsory process where one person does all the work – both parties need to contribute to the discussion
Skills of a good mentor
Being authentic and trustworthy
Benefits of a mentor
Having a support person who understands what you’re going through
Feeling connected and heard
Having someone o talk to and share with
Supporting a parent transition with their return to work and juggling of work/family by engaging in conversation that involves;
Exchanging or sharing ideas and insights through story-telling, providing guidance and feedback based on your own personal experiences as a working parent.
Stimulating thinking and different or new approaches to thinking about work, family life
The mentee brings the things they’d like to discuss to a mentor meeting
The Mentee sets the agenda
Respect and honour privacy boundaries
The relationship must not be exploitative in any way
Mentor must be aware of their own competence and escalate to appropriate areas for help
Mentor and Mentee should respect each other’s time and responsibilities
Either party can dissolve the relationship at any time
Mentors must be aware of any current laws and work within it.
As the growth of one to one relationships as a development offering increases, it is important to ensure there is proper conduct between Mentor and Mentee.
The mentor’s role is to respond to the mentee’s developmental needs and agenda. Not to impose his or hers own agenda
Mentors must work in the agreed boundaries of confidentiality that is appropriate within the context
Mentor will not intrude into areas the mentee wishes to keep private until invited to do so. However s/he should help the mentee recognise how other issues may relate to those areas.
First Meeting Suggestions
Exchange relevant information about yourself, your role and career history etc
Talk about intentions for the mentoring and identify common ground
Identify key areas the mentee would like to explore and want support they feel they need
Establish boundaries - decide when, where to meet and how long. Decide the appropriate contact times and quantities.
Discuss and agree what would like to achieve from the mentoring session
When to seek further corporate assistance?
When the mentee requires or requests to speak to an independent and qualified coach external to the organisation
The mentee requires formal advice on returning to work
The mentee requires tools and learning material to support their return to work or work life balance
Wants assistance to prepare for return to work meetings or building personal solutions for optimising balance and wellbeing
Suspecting mental health and relationship concerns
Workplace conflict resolution and mediation
Warning signs that further support may be required
Persistent, generalised worry, often focused on fears for the health, wellbeing or safety of the baby
Abrupt mood swings
Feeling constantly sad, low, or crying for no obvious reason
Being nervous, ‘on edge’, or panicky
Feeling constantly tired and lacking energy
Having little or no interest in all the normal things that bring joy
Sleeping too much or not sleeping very well at all
Losing interest in intimacy
Withdrawing from friends and family
Being easily annoyed or irritated
Finding it difficult to focus, concentrate or remember
Engaging in more risk taking behaviour (e.g. alcohol or drug use)
Having thoughts of harming your baby
Having thoughts of death or suicide