Mentee Information Guide



Mentee Information Guide
Enterprise Mentoring Support
Mentee Information Guide
GrowBiz Enterprise Mentoring Support
Mentee Information Guide
GrowBiz is a community-based enterprise support service covering Eastern and Highland
Perthshire. We provide enterprise support to anyone thinking of becoming self-employed,
or starting (or growing) a small business or social enterprise.
This mentee information guide is intended to be used as a resource and reference book for
those involved in the GrowBiz Enterprise Mentoring Support service (known as GEMS) and
the contents are further developed in information sessions for new mentees. A similar information guide is also available for mentors.
GrowBiz Enterprise Support Model
Initial contact is usually made with the GrowBiz Enterprise Manager,
who provides ongoing one to one, individually tailored, professional
business support to clients at any stage of their business development.
One to one support may also be provided by a GrowBiz Business
Peer group meetings and learning sessions, open to all and facilitated by the Peer Support Coordinator, are offered at least twice
monthly in different venues. These groups offer clients the chance
to share business successes, concerns, knowledge and experience for
mutual benefit, and to learn from speakers from the GrowBiz network
(often peer group members) who offer to lead sessions on their particular
area of expertise ( e.g. marketing; website development; leaflet design;
book-keeping etc.)
GrowBiz Enterprise Support Model
Monthly peer support meetings for entrepreneurs who share the additional challenge of an
ongoing health issue or disability also take place, focusing on confidence building, stress
management and coping strategies.
The Women’s Enterprise Network is a monthly opportunity to meet with fellow female
entrepreneurs and hear from inspiring women about their business journey.
The GrowBiz XChange is a bi-monthly networking meeting featuring presentations from local
businesses and an opportunity to connect GrowBiz clients who are willing to offer time and
expertise to others.
Enterprise support for young people.
GrowBiz Enterprise Mentoring Support offers clients an opportunity to be partnered with a
trained GrowBiz mentor who has volunteered their time to support another local business.
One to One
The GrowBiz Enterprise Support Network
The Enterprise Manager is responsible for project management, strategic development, one
to one enterprise support for clients and coordination of the Women’s Enterprise Network
and GrowBiz XChange.
A professional Business Advisor provides additional one to one business support for GrowBiz
The team is supported by a part-time administrator and finance assistant providing the
organisational and office functions necessary for the smooth running of GrowBiz.
GrowBiz’s Peer Support and Mentoring Coordinator co-ordinates and facilitates peer group
meetings and the GrowBiz Enterprise Mentoring Support programme.
The GrowBiz Board of Directors is a voluntary group of local people which oversees the work
of the organisation and the staff team.
The GrowBiz team of trained volunteer mentors.
The GrowBiz XChange – a network of supportive local business people.
GrowBiz Enterprise Mentoring Support (GEMS)
The concept of enterprise mentoring (partnering with someone else to help them achieve
their business objectives) has always been at the heart of the support GrowBiz has offered
to clients since its inception in 2007. The formal GrowBiz Enterprise Mentoring Support
programme began in May 2014 as part of the work to promote women’s enterprise in
Coupar Angus and the surrounding area, funded by the RBS Inspiring Enterprise project. A
group of GrowBiz clients volunteered to participate in mentor training, and were matched to
other clients who were looking for some additional support in getting their business up and
running, or to the next stage in its development.
GrowBiz was successful in applying for a second round of funding from RBS Inspiring Enterprise to build on the original women’s enterprise project, and also received funding from the
SSE Sustainable Development Fund for Perthshire to further develop both the mentoring and
XChange projects.
Definition of Mentoring
“ Mentoring is to support and encourage people to
manage their own learning in order that they may
maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve
their performance and become the person they want
Eric Parsloe
to be
from the Oxford School of Coaching and Mentoring
What is Mentoring?
Mentoring is a two way relationship for the purpose of mutual learning and development. It is
used in many different contexts, and generally the mentor is someone who is more experienced in areas where the mentee wishes to develop. GEMS was set up to help GrowBiz clients
to make the most of themselves and their businesses. The GEMS mentors are typically other
local business people who are part of the GrowBiz Network and who have specific types of
business experience and connections. They are offered mentor training which is delivered by
GrowBiz and give of their time voluntarily. GrowBiz takes care with matching mentor and
mentee to make sure that there is a good chance of trust and rapport building between the
partners, who will have complementary experience, knowledge and skills.
As a mentee you will meet regularly with your mentor who will support you to ensure that
these meetings are focused and productive, leading to good learning and development outcomes for both partners.
GrowBiz will support you both throughout this process.
Benefits for our GEMS Mentees
Finding skills and
abilities they didn’t
know they had
Getting organised
More Focus
A sounding
board for ideas
Setting targets
Support to build
confidence and
Using their energy
more effectively
Benefits for our GEMS Mentors
Sharing ideas
It’s rewarding to
see someone grow
their business
You learn
new things
You learn a lot
about yourself
You rediscover skills
you’ve developed
Seeing the mentee’s
confidence growing
builds your own
You learn to
listen more
The GEMS Mentoring Journey
Contact GrowBiz to express your interest.
Meet with the GEMS coordinator.
Attend GEMS Mentee Information Session.
Complete a Mentee Profile Form.
GEMS coordinator will contact you with the name of a potential mentor and confirm that you
are happy to meet them.
You can then make mutual contact and arrange an initial meeting, or arrange to be introduced to each other by the GEMS coordinator.
Create a mentoring plan with your mentor and schedule your meetings.
The GEMS Mentoring Journey (Cont.)
Attend a six monthly one to one mentee support meeting with the GEMS coordinator and
complete the mentee support log.
Contact the GEMS coordinator if you would like to discuss your mentoring at any other time.
Make sure that you and your mentee have discussed when it is time for the mentoring relationship to come to an end.
You or your mentor will inform the GEMS coordinator of the date of your final meeting with
your mentor.
Meet with the GEMS coordinator to review the mentoring partnership and discuss your next
Complete a GEMS evaluation form.
The Keys Skills and Qualities of a Mentee
Is open and willing to building trust and rapport.
Observes confidentiality.
Is an excellent listener.
Is honest and able to ask for support.
Is willing to learn and make changes.
Takes responsibility for their own learning and progress.
Is observant.
Is self-aware.
Is prepared to see things from a different point of view.
What should a Mentee Do?
Clarify what you want to achieve from working with a mentor.
Discuss openly and honestly your concerns about your business.
Respond to questions posed by your mentor which are designed to help you explore your
issues further.
Sound out your ideas with your mentor.
Share your personal experience, knowledge, and connections for the benefit of the
mentoring relationship.
Be open to and reflect on feedback offered by your mentor.
Give your mentor feedback on the mentoring they are providing.
Maintain focus and direction.
Carry out agreed tasks.
Keep the discussion on track and within the agreed time frame.
What Shouldn’t a Mentee Do?
Expect your mentor to be responsible for your business or decisions.
Expect your mentor to give advice or tell you what to do.
Over involve your mentor in your personal life or problems.
Leave the mentor to do all the work before, during and after the meetings.
Discuss the mentor’s business information with others except within the confidential arena of
GEMS support sessions.
Be over-critical or over-accepting.
Fail to complete agreed actions.
The First Meeting with your Mentor
It is quite likely that you will feel nervous before your first meeting with your mentor – and
more than likely that they will be nervous too.
You can take the opportunity of being introduced by the GEMS Coordinator, or just take the
plunge and arrange to meet. Your mentor will have attended GrowBiz mentor training sessions and will have their own mentor handbook, so both of you will have an idea of what is
involved and what to expect – but – your mentoring relationship will be unique to you both.
Your ability to build mutual trust and rapport is very important at this stage, as it will set the
tone for the rest of your meetings.
Getting Started
Think carefully about where you will meet. You will need to be able to talk freely and confidentially without being disturbed, and will also want to be relaxed and comfortable, and to
have access to refreshments. A public place may not support confidentiality and either’s
workplace may be suitable, but depending on the nature of the business, distracting. The
home may be a bit too comfortable and have other types of distraction. This is something
you and your mentor will have to agree on, bearing the above in mind.
Getting Started (Cont.)
To begin with, even if you have already met your mentor in another context, it’s a good idea
to tell them something about yourself, your business, your expectations of being part of
GEMS, and whatever information about your personal life you are happy to share.
Sharing information about your business is important at this stage. Discuss your business
goals and aspirations, your concerns, and any personal issues which are having an impact on
the way your business is progressing.
Remember that although in some areas your mentor will have more business experience
than you, they are not necessarily an expert, and will also learn from you.
Be honest and clear about the things you want to work on with your mentor and the issues
you are facing.
Tips for Building Trust and Rapport
Share some things about yourself and your business. Rapport is built from common reference points – seek to find them.
Be aware of your expression, position and gestures – are they open and welcoming?
Remember to smile!
Be aware of your tone of voice and the pace of your speech – be open minded rather than
Say what you mean and mean what you say.
Be open and honest.
Use your natural curiosity and ask the mentor about their business experience
Always do what you say you will do when you say you will do it.
Don’t make a habit of being late for meetings or rescheduling them.
Above all - be your best self!
‘People will forget what you said, they will forget what
you did, but they will never forget how you made
them feel’
Maya Angelou
American Writer
Guidelines for your First Meeting
Agree where, how often, when and for how long you want to meet.
Agree how you will keep in touch.
Agree how you will both observe mutual confidentiality.
Discuss your mutual expectations for the mentoring partnership.
Clarify the issues the mentee wants to address.
Prioritise where you will start.
Agree how the meetings will be recorded and explain mutual responsibility for note taking.
Decide on any other ground rules you want to set for your meetings or contact between you.
Agree the time, date, venue and agenda for your next meeting.
Building Equal Partnerships
Being self-aware is an important ingredient in any kind of relationship building. There are a
number of ‘personality type’ systems which can help us to better understand ourselves and
others such as The Enneagram ( and Myers Briggs
Personality Types ( ). You can find free online tests and information on these and related websites, which can prove useful, and in some cases, very enlightening. They can help you to understand your own preferences, strengths and challenges,
and why you may react in certain ways. Learning how to respond rather than react is an
invaluable life and business skill.
Building Equal Partnerships (Cont.)
To help with more effective communication with others, there is a useful model which, put
very simply, identifies three basic roles which we take when interacting with others. We will
adopt these roles based, among other things, on our background, experience and perception
of our role. This is a very much simplified description of a psychological model called Transactional Analysis first described by Eric Berne and later explained by Thomas A Harris in his
book ‘I’m OK You’re OK’. Becoming more aware of the ‘role’ we might be adopting in our
interactions can help us to understand how things may be going wrong (or right) in our
‘transactions’ with others, and in this case the mentoring relationship.
Go to for more information and online tests.
Building Equal Partnerships (Cont.)
The Adult to Adult Role is described as ‘I’m OK -You’re OK’. This is what to aim for in any
adult to adult partnership. Individuals respect each other and work together with mutual
regard and responsibility, learning from each other.
The Parent to Child Role is described as ‘I’m OK-You’re Not OK’. One individual has the
power and tells the other what they should do. This leads the ‘child figure’ to either comply
(being the good child) or rebel (the naughty child), but either way the parent role has control.
The Child to Parent Role– described as ‘I’m Not OK- You’re OK’ is where the child figure
looks to the parent figure for direction guidance or instruction and so avoids taking personal
responsibility, or, they may rebel.
Building Equal Partnerships (Cont.)
A Parent to Parent role may lead to conflict with both parties believing themselves to be
right and the other wrong.
A Child to Child role may lead either to collusion and mutual avoidance of responsibility, or
conflict as both vie for attention.
If either person is adopting a parent or child role, it will be difficult for the other to take on
the adult role – so both parties in a relationship have to take the responsibility to interact in
an adult to adult way.
We move in and out of these roles throughout life – and all roles may be appropriate in the
right context. Adult to adult is appropriate for a mentoring relationship.
Goal, Plan and Action Setting
It is useful to set clear goals with your mentee then make a plan to achieve them, broken
down into themes, followed by small achievable actions, with time scales to move things
forward. Here are some tips:
Set SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound).
With the support of your mentor, find the goals which motivate and inspire you, then plan a
strategy, or identify the issues you need to address to achieve them. Set small achievable
actions with time scales which you can review during the mentoring sessions.
Use the GROW model and follow this order - Goal (where you want to be), Reality (where
you are now), Options (what choices you have), and Way Forward (what you are going to
Mind Mapping can be helpful. This is where you put the theme or goal in the centre of the
paper – then draw lines off for all the ideas or issues which arise then draw lines off from
each specific topic line to add to the ideas, options or actions.
How to be an Excellent Listener
An excellent listener pays attention to the whole of someone’s communication, listening
beyond the words for a fuller understanding. They do not interrupt, misinterpret, look away,
make judgements or jump to conclusions quickly. They do check back that they have understood and they pay attention to the following:
What are
they doing?
What are
they saying?
What are
you noticing?
How are they
saying it?
How is this
affecting you?
How do
they appear?
What are they
not saying?
Prepare for Powerful Questions
One of the key skills your mentor will have is the ability to ask powerful questions. These are questions which lead to insight, innovation and action. The purpose of them is to lead you to greater
understanding, not to provide information for the mentor. The most powerful types of question
begin with ‘how’ or ‘what’ – and the least powerful are those with yes or no answers. These types of
questions will promote creative thinking and will build your confidence as you discover that you can
find your own solutions.
Here are some examples of powerful questions:
How will you know when your business is successful?
What do you want to achieve from today’s meeting?
What have you achieved so far in your business?
What are the greatest difficulties you have faced?
How would you advise someone else to deal with the issue you are facing?
What aspects of running your business do you tend to avoid?
How have you solved this problem before?
Questions You May Want to ask Your Mentor
I have so much to do – where do I start?
How do I deal with awkward customers?
How can I stop my friends and family from interrupting me when I’m working at home?
Everybody tells me my product/service is great, but they don’t buy it, what can I do?
I don’t know what I should be charging for my product or service, what do you think?
I’m finding it difficult to achieve a good work-life balance – how can I get more time with my family?
I find it difficult to make ‘cold calls’ – how can I build my self-confidence?
How can I get more customers?
A mentor is not expected to know the answers to these questions, but through good questioning and
discussion, they will draw out what you already know or have already done. They may share their
own experience and knowledge for you to tackle the work together, or can help you to find other
sources of support (e.g. from the wider GrowBiz network described earlier).
Prioritising and Analysing
It is easy to become overwhelmed by the number of tasks you have to deal with when
starting or developing your business. Part of the role of a mentor is to help you to clarify and
prioritise these tasks. Using the business development compass can help with analysing and
prioritising the areas to work on, and what to tackle first. You can use it to bring focus to the
discussion. You can either give a satisfaction score out of 10 for each area, or you can use it
to identify the areas that need most attention, and what should be done first. You can also
use a SWOT analysis diagram (below), to help you to identify each area, and then explore it
in more depth.
Personal Development
Life Balance
supplier relationships
Business Development
Job Satisfaction
Professional Development
How to Deal with Resistance
There will be times in the mentoring relationship when you will feel some resistance. This
might take the form of repeatedly failing to complete agreed tasks, or avoiding an area
which needs to be dealt with. Resistance is very important in any process of change or
development; it is during the process of overcoming resistance that the greatest learning
takes place. Resistance of any sort is information, and when you feel it, it is important to
stop and wonder about its cause. Treat it as important information and use curiosity, questioning and observation to explore it.
How to Deal with Resistance (Cont.)
Some possible causes of resistance:
The mentor may be over-imposing their own agenda , or taking on a ‘parent’ or ‘teacher
‘role to which the you are reacting, so it may be time to rebalance the relationship and make
sure you are taking equal responsibility .
Resistance can also be a sign of a fear or limiting belief which you have about the thing you
are avoiding (e.g. ‘I was rubbish at maths at school so I won’t be able to do book-keeping’)
– explore the belief further and assess its reasonableness or otherwise.
You may be afraid to succeed and are even sabotaging your own efforts, which might show
up as resistance. Explore your beliefs about success and how this might be influencing your
business development.
Resistance can also be related to fear of failure, which you might want to reflect on and
discuss with your mentor
Managing the Ending
The way you end both the mentoring relationship, and each mentoring meeting, is as
important as the way you began it. A good ending, which is prepared for and completed
well, brings satisfaction and will colour the recollection of the whole process. Each meeting,
and the whole mentoring process, should be seen as a distinct unit of work which is structured with a beginning a middle and an end. Right at the start of the partnership you will
have discussed with your mentor what you want to achieve from working with them, and it
is important to keep checking as you go that things are still on track.
The relationship will evolve over time, and new goals will be set, but the time will come
when you need to move on.
Some Tips for Managing Good Endings
Make sure that you end each mentoring session by reviewing what has been discussed. Tell
your mentor what you are taking from the session and what you plan to do before the next
one. Confirm any actions that you have agreed to take, and plan the next date and venue.
Throughout the partnership, keep checking that things are on track and mutually discuss
when the time will be right to end the mentoring relationship.
Make sure you set a date for the final meeting rather than letting things drift.
At the final meeting, make sure that you review the work done, what you have both learned
and discuss plans for the future.
Some Tips for Managing Good Endings (Cont.)
Be clear about any ongoing contact and what form that will take.
Make sure you know if your mentor is prepared to be contacted for any support or advice in
future or not.
Remember that GrowBiz can provide you with ongoing support.
Make sure there is no ‘unfinished business.’
Acknowledge and celebrate success in some way.
Say Goodbye.
References and Useful Websites
Mentorsme pocketbooks for Mentors and Mentees
Thomas A Harris ‘I’m OK You’re OK ‘
Useful Websites:
Text: Joyce McQuilken, GrowBiz Peer Support and Mentoring Coordinator
Contributions, advice, guidance and editing: Jackie Brierton, GrowBiz Enterprise Manager
Resources and ideas: Alan Garratt, GrowBiz Business Advisor
Ideas: GrowBiz Women’s Enterprise Network
Pilot Mentor Training: Pauline Bell, Mentoring Mix Consultancy
Design Consultancy: Louise Copeland, Great Little Brands
Graphic Design: Stewart Graham
Printing: Danscot Print Ltd.
Funding: RBS Inspiring Enterprise; SSE; Scottish Government; Perth & Kinross Council
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