Tuesday 01 March 2016,

It’s not often you are lucky enough to get the time from someone who has built up and sold two businesses, but the West Midlands branch were entertained by David Daly, ex Partner of a professional services firm, introducing the topic as ‘your critical friend’. Mentoring & Coaching to give it it’s accurate name. KPMG Birmingham again were utter stars and housed us, fed us, and watered us at the ‘Mentor not Minotaur’ event held on Tuesday 1st March.

Delegate’s feedback about this event was excellent. And for those of you who missed this event, I’ve attempted to capture the key points for you below. Of course, you’ve missed out by not attending, and my summary isn’t going to compare to you using up one of your lunch hoursevery two months (you still get fed!) to experience the hindsight of these experts, and mingle with like minded professionals, but here goes.

If anyone thinks that having a Mentor or Coach is much like sitting in a lesson at school and being lectured at, you will be very pleasantly surprised to find out that it’s not. You already have all the answers in your head (yes, even I apparently). You just need to know what answer you want to get to. The skilled Mentor or Coach is there to help you get the answers out of YOU – as you are the skilled one in your field. Alex Fergusson wasn’t better at football than David Beckham was he!

Mentoring isn’t just for newbies either. David was full of stories about top executives of multi-million pound enterprises wanting and benefiting his help. And even these people sometimes struggled with the first question. It’s a brave move saying “I need some help”. Especially if you are new to your employer – and you are lucky enough that they provide coaches…. from their own HR team. Don’t panic, coaches don’t divulge what you say to them.

So, how do you get the most out of Mentoring / Coaching?

  1. Look for someone who listens, not someone who tells you what to do
  2. Hunt out personal recommendations from colleagues or contacts
  3. Go with an agenda of what you want to achieve
  4. Use plain English in your discussions (but you could do well using that everywhere)
  5. The conversation will always change as your sessions go on, go with the flow
  6. Get to know your coach – this might take the first session, or more
  7. If you and your coach don’t ‘fit’ – you’ll both know to swap coaches
  8. Aim for face-to-face sessions
  9. Expect sessions to last 1 – 2 hours
  10. And remember, the person is the subject

Most successful business people have someone to talk to, to bounce ideas off. Anyone interested in mentoring or coaching should visit David’s website (www.daviddalycoaching.com) to find out more.

Thank you to David, KPMG and Jo Cartwright (Regional Chair) for organising the event for the regional members.

Simon McNidder
West Midlands Regional Director