Mentoring support for not-for-profit organisations

Irene feb 196x300 - Mentoring support for not-for-profit organisationsSociaLink, which supports the Western Bay of Plenty social and community sector, is offering mentoring opportunities for managers and emerging leaders in not-for-profit organisations in the
Western Bay. to help them grow staff capabilities.

SociaLink Mentoring Coordinator Christa George is keen to hear from anyone with leadership experience who can work with people such as general managers, centre managers and board chairs and who understands the joys and constraints of the not-for-profit sector.

“Sharing your experiences and expertise with others is a wonderful way to connect and give back to your community,” she said.

“Mentorship provides several benefits for both mentors and mentees. In addition to growing a mentee’s career and providing them with crucial knowledge that will equip them to be better leaders, mentors also strengthen their own leadership and communication skills.

“This programme has been running for a few years and continues to achieve excellent results.”

When approached to become a mentor, SociaLink’s Māori Advisor Irene Walker says she felt privileged but also doubtful that she had the skills or ability.

“But after discussing the mentee and her request, I accepted the challenge knowing that we both could learn from each other’s experience and knowledge. The journey for both mentor and
mentee is about having respect for each other and providing time and a safe learning environment.

“As a mentor, it was about listening with the heart, establishing a rapport, getting directly into the core and starting the journey to build trust and respect. It soon became apparent that the knowledge was there, but helping them to release blockages was necessary. Then, fostering confidence and courage to pursue it.

“It was an amazing experience to watch the flower blossom. The mentoring programme provides one-on-one mentor/mentee support and group sessions for with mentees peers and other mentors. This is a programme I highly recommend for both to whatever position you enter – mentors or mentees.”

Megan Leigh, CEO of Live for More, a charity empowering at-risk young men by using surf therapy teaching at-risk young men to surf, found mentoring from Simone Gibson from Good Neighbour was perfect for her at a crucial time in her new role.

“We met monthly on a day that suited both of us, and basically kept the same pattern of the same day and same place each month. For the first half of the programme I was sending a quite structured “agenda” for our meetings so that she could get an idea of what I wanted to talk
through/pick her brain about and come prepared with some thoughts.

“As the relationship evolved and towards the end of the programme, we found it was more natural not to have an agenda as we were quite comfortable with each other and could just have chats about what’s happening at the time and share ideas.

“I also phoned Simone for ad-hoc advice. She really made herself available for things like this, which was a huge support.

“It was so good! I wish I could do the programme over and over again. I was brand new to the social sector and trying to find a network when I knew almost no one. I felt so super supported and it was amazing knowing that I had that catch up each month so I could jot down anything niggly that came up as a ‘discuss with Simone’ subject.

Megan says she would ‘100 percent’ recommend the programme to anyone.

“This is the type of programme where you get out what you put in, so if you put the time aside and invest in yourself, you get heaps out of it. If you don’t put time or thought into it, you won’t grow anywhere near as much. Do the mahi, get the treats!”