Guide for Aunties Network Mentors
What is mentoring?
Mentoring is essentially about helping people to develop more effectively. It is a relationship designed to build confidence and support the mentee so they are able to take control of their own development and work.
Mentoring is not the same as training, teaching or coaching, and a mentor doesn’t need to be a qualified trainer or an expert in the role the mentee carries out. They need to be able to listen and ask questions that will challenge the mentee to identify the course of action they need to take in regards to their own development.
What is a Mentor?
A mentor is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as an “experienced and trusted adviser”. This description reflects how we would like to see mentors work with their mentees. Your role as mentor will cover at least some of the following:
- Ask questions to help develop yours and the mentee’s understanding of a situation or problem
- Provide information and knowledge
- Encourage them to engage with specialist agencies; support them through the journey of engaging with those agencies
As a mentor you will have the opportunity to use your experience and knowledge in a facilitative manner to support the development of the mentee.
Support for Mentors
At times you may feel that you need a little support yourself as a mentor; you may have faced or be dealing with a situation with your mentee and be unsure how to approach it. There are a range of support methods available to mentors.
- Your colleagues – other aunties who are part of the network
- Your own mentor if you have one
- The MWC team
The benefits of Mentoring
For the Mentor
- Job satisfaction from seeing the positive change they create
- Increased recognition from peers
- Having identified future potential of the person they are mentoring
- Learning and developing themselves from the process
- Satisfaction at the success of the mentee
- Motivation from self-development and responsibility
For the Mentee
- Increased self-confidence and motivation
- Positive impact on their independence
- Enhanced knowledge on how to recognise risky and exploitive relationships which are likely to reduce the risks of on-going sexual exploitation
Skills and experience required to be a Mentor
- Accessibility – You should be willing and able to commit sufficient time to your mentee to offer support and guidance.
- Communication – You need excellent communication skills and must be able to understand the ideas and feelings of others. You also need to be a great listener.
- A desire to help others develop – You should understand how individuals develop and have experience, either formally or informally, of developing others.
- Empathy – Ability to empathise with others.
- Understanding –You should be prepared to try to understand different perspectives, approaches and possibly backgrounds of different mentees.
- We will train you on how to identify signs of CSE; identify patterns of behaviours and attitudes that can be linked to CSE; identify cultural, familial, and other normative behaviours and attitudes that may need to be challenges in tackling CSE.
- You will then hold ‘front room conversations’, to raise awareness within the homes of Muslim families, informing and enabling mothers’ and daughters’ to benefit from greater awareness of signs, dangers and to empower them with a voice that can be heard
- You will capture and log information, this information you will share with relevant and specialist agencies if necessary. You must also support the women and girls through the journey of engaging with these specialist agencies, rather than solve the situation.
Different roles a Mentor may be required to take
Different roles you may be required to take:
Coaching- Encourage mentees to develop skills and attitudes for the future, help them see beyond the current situation, identify what the future can look like and how this can be achieved.
Core skills needed:
- Listening with an open mind and suspending judgements
- Being able to see the issue from a different perspective, that of the mentee
- Identifying behaviour that needs to change
- Providing constructive feedback
- Ability to clarify so both parties have a shared understanding
Counselling – In counselling mode the mentor acts as a good listener when the mentee is solving a problem or making a difficult decision. As a confidant, the mentor helps the mentee to clarify the real issues involved and to see the bigger picture.
Core skills needed:
- Listening – Withholding comments unless it helps the mentee to clarify their thoughts
- Avoiding unconstructive arguments
- Being able to help move the mentee into constructive problem solving mode
- Knowing when to encourage them to approach specialist agencies