Chris Underhill MBE
I have developed and run organisations for many years and during this period I have come to understand how important mentoring is. It was well over 30 years ago that I noticed people approaching me wishing to talk over issues in their work or their personal life. Today, mentoring has become a vocation since it is the perfect way to support those who are solving complex and important matters in their lives.
How does mentoring work?
I meet with a person for an agreed period and, after some very simple preliminaries and an agreement of confidentiality, the mentee is invited to open with the subject that they have on their mind. The topics are at times reorganised as the subject becomes clearer, and I think it important for the mentee to depart with a better idea as to how the next few steps will map out. Together with my experience, active listening is probably the most obvious and useful tool that I bring to the session. Although often in powerful positions, mentees can find themselves feeling out of control of an important dimension of their work or personal life and this requires careful listening so as to understand the complex nature of the problem to hand. As can be imagined, there is a real sense of satisfaction when people leave with their ideas better ordered and the decisions that they need to make beginning to crystallise.
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