29.10.18 – National Mentoring Day

One area that has been of great interest to me since my time studying Psychology at Bangor University is having the ability to use my skills to help others. While studying, I completed a counselling module that looked at the principles of effective counselling and learning how to establish a working relationship that requires mutual trust and collaboration. However, I only gained a brief overview of counselling and we practiced our skills with our fellow students rather than dealing with ‘real life’ problems.

Counselling is a very specialized area, which supports individuals through personal and emotional experiences, looking at developing confidence and self-worth. An individual trains specifically to work as a counsellor and the service is usually offered outside of work boundaries.

However, support, guidance and advice within the workforce can still be received, without having to visit a counsellor. Coaching and mentoring are two ways of supporting our employees within the Council, and is encouraged by our culture, as Ffordd Gwynedd outlines the importance of self-development, self-confidence, and taking responsibility for ourselves.

What is the role of a coach and mentor?

A coach works with an individual within an organization with the goal of improving performance. A coach will be required to encourage, question, and challenge to develop new skills and reach career milestones. The coach does not need to be a field expert, but instead uses a variety of skills to encourage the development of the individual.

A mentor will be able to offer advice and share experiences when discussing various situations. The relationship between mentor and colleague can be long term considering skills, qualifications, and expectations and occasionally offering pastoral care.

How do I know this?

At present, I am following a level 7 qualification in Coaching and Mentoring offered by the Management Centre at Bangor University. As well as completing essays to consider coaching and mentoring theories and skills, I will also need to complete 20 hours of coaching and mentoring sessions with employees within the Council.

I will be responsible for arranging the session, discussing our work contract and set the boundaries of the session, whilst questioning, challenging, and encouraging employees of all levels (including managers!) during the session, and summarising action points to be completed before the next meeting. After completing my first 20 hours, I will be able to reflect on my experiences in order to develop and become an official qualified coach and mentor at Gwynedd Council!

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