|Business Mentoring Workshop|
Date: Thu 10 May 12
Business Mentoring Workshop- February 2012
In 2009, we formalized our mentoring programme and developed a model that links experienced business people and professionals with upcoming entrepreneurs. The implementation process began in 2010 where we recruited mentors from 4 regions out of the 5 counties where we run our entrepreneurship programmes.
Our objective is to link at least 40% of our entrepreneurship trainees with experienced business and professional persons in formal mentoring and coaching relationships that will contribute to their development and that of their businesses.
To achieve our goal we realized the need to empower Mentors who will in turn successfully build the skills and abilities of their mentees. EPTF in conjunction with Ramboll Management Consulting-Denmark hosted a two days Business Mentors workshop at CORAT Africa-Karen in February 2012.
One tool that was explored during the workshop is Appreciative Inquiry which can be defined as the act of recognizing the best in people, affirming past and present strengths, successes, and potentials; to perceive those things that give life to living systems and asking questions that can open someone to discover new potential and possibilities. The use of Appreciative Inquiry builds the mentee’s self esteem by allowing them to discover capabilities, resources, values and strengths they can build on as well as derive confidence. ‘We all have the basic need of being seen, heard and understood in our private and social spheres,’ Lars from Ramboll Management commented. ‘By using appreciate inquiry, we create a positive reaction’ He added.
Where ethical values are concerned the mentor should not impose their values on the mentee but take the mentee through a discussion or reflection that helps them see the consequences of doing their business without considering Biblical values. It is also important to note that counseling maybe needed to deal with the personal issues as they also affect the mentees business performance.
Other lessons learned during the workshop were:-
- How to communicate effectively using keywords and curiosity.
- Contracts where mentoring is concerned is important otherwise abuse ensues.
- Powerful, purposeful, and progressive questions are necessary.
- Mentors are not solution givers, the mentees have the answers they only need help in getting them.
- Mentoring can work successfully if we apply the right tools and is greatly needed in the community today.
- As mentors we are called to a higher level of integrity because we are dealing with peoples’ lives. We should therefore be very resourceful and have a learning heart
At the end of the workshop, the participants felt confident and better prepared to mentor and put the knowledge gained into practice. As an organization, our desire is to continue having frequent engagements and interactions with our Mentors. We aim at doing training that will lead to certification.
Click here for more photos of the Mentors Workshop