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DEAL Group help businesses ‘Get Mentoring’

The ‘Get Mentoring’ initiative aims to train those who work with, in and for small businesses to become business mentors. DEAL are running free introductory workshops across the region which will introduce you to a range of mentoring skills and give you the tools to become an effective mentor.

Why are DEAL involved?

DEAL Group have long recognised that there is a huge amount of knowledge, experience and insight within businesses in the North East. The world of business support is changing radically and the time has come to take back the agenda and forge the best kind of business support - businesses helping each other to help themselves improve their own business and the environment in which to do business.

The ‘Get Mentoring’ initiative is a mechanism for building and sharing wisdom in the region. A mentor is someone who helps another person realise his or her potential over time. It’s not about giving advice. It is about giving business people a space to think and plan.

Why should I get involved?

Most business people will, if time allows, help one another. In the process of mentoring, many people learn new things themselves or open up new opportunities or at the very least consider alternative approaches. Some have described the value as developing skills to use within the business, for example in developing staff. The best kind of mentoring is a two-way process.

David White, who manages the DEAL Learning Centre said, “Mentoring is not just about creating a new cadre of business advisers or shadow directors, but a framework to share experiences and offer perspectives in a pragmatic way that really makes a difference. Being a business mentor is not just about altruism, although it might be the initial motivation, it will help you in your business as well”.

Why do I need training?

Mentoring is deceptively simple yet very effective. It involves committing time to the process – meeting regularly over a period of months. In addition, you will need to understand the basic do’s and don’ts of mentoring, using tried and tested tools and techniques proven to be effective. Like most things, there is a right way and a wrong way to mentor and the wrong way will waste everyone’s time, not least your own! In this respect, being a mentor will introduce you to new skills that will be of use running your business.

What does the training involve?

Working with 10 to 16 other business people for 3 to 4 hours on the basic tools and techniques of enterprise mentoring. The workshop will explore skills such as listening, questioning, action planning & goal setting, supportive challenge, feedback, building rapport and critical reflection. Beyond that there are a range of more sophisticated tools and techniques to learn about to become increasingly effective. DEAL offer a progression route to national qualifications (see . The initial workshop is free and gives you a year’s free membership of the IoEE , plus the skills to deliver mentoring to any type of micro, small and medium sized business

What do others say who have attended the workshops?

Pat Richardson of RichardsonHowarth LLP said “I have been mentoring for many years in different capacities but I found the workshop an extremely useful refresher. It was great having the opportunity to hear other people’s views and experiences of what works and what doesn’t, especially when mentoring fledgling start up and small businesses”.

Carol Groombridge who runs her own consultancy business, Carol Groombridge Consulting agreed and said “Attending the workshop was a really worthwhile and enjoyable experience. Even as a seasoned business mentor and coach the workshop helped me to re-focus on the key skills and tools for mentoring. Taking part and learning more about the ‘Get Mentoring’ initiative has certainly given me an appetite to become further involved and help small businesses achieve success.

What next?

The ‘Get Mentoring’ workshops are running from January through to end of March. Places are limited to 20 per workshop and are filling fast. Go to to book your free place or visit .

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Karen Langdon .

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