Mentoring Day: A Mentor’s Experience

Picture of Hatch Team

Mentoring Day takes place every year on the 27th of October to recognise and celebrate the benefits of mentoring. 

We asked the Head of Marketing and Communications here at Hatch, Bevis Man, about his experience as a mentor.

Could you tell us a little about your mentor-mentee relationships?

I’ve been mentoring for about four years now and over that period of time have mentored four people working in the third sector, all in various roles at differing points of their career in  communications. People who have been stepping up to more senior comms roles for the first time, people whose teams have grown very quickly and others who work in charities where communications is very much an afterthought and they’re trying to work around that.

So all very different challenges, which keeps me on my toes that’s for sure.

What made you decide to become a mentor?

Fundamentally, it’s about giving back. I’ve been lucky enough in my life to have had some great, and some not so great, managers over my career so far, so plenty of good and bad experiences to draw from in terms of sharing my own learnings and mistakes so someone else doesn’t have to make those themselves.

I had a mentor myself for a while early on in my career, who worked with me over a few months and was really the first person to ask me about what I wanted to do with my career in comms.

Since then that’s a question I ask all of my team members in the places I’ve worked, so I really valued having someone who wasn’t my boss but was still prompting me to ask those key questions.

Picture of mentor, Bevis Man in black and white. Bevis is a man of Asian descent with a bald head and a some stubble. He is looking directly at the camera with a smile.

What are a few key things someone can get out of a mentor-mentee relationship?

Mentoring doesn’t have to focus on one thing or challenge only. I’ve always found it useful to have one topic me and my mentee focus on each time, whether that’s about managing internal comms, developing their career, or one specific problem they’re finding difficult.

The fact that no two sessions are the same, and that people work in different places, with different people to your own, is a really good chance for me to reflect on the advice or steerage I’m giving out and whether or not I’m actually doing them myself.

Quite often I finish a session and look back at my notes and think ‘I should probably do that with my own team!’ It’s a hugely rewarding experience being a mentor, and a great reminder to yourself that you do know what you’re talking about.

What would you say to somebody who wants to be a mentor but doesn't know how to get involved?

Firstly, go for it.

Have a think about what you might be able to offer, mentoring isn’t about having all the answers and knowing exactly what to suggest as advice or guidance, I’d say a large proportion of a good mentoring relationship is actually listening to your mentee.

So, whilst being in a senior role can help, I’d say there’s more value in thinking more about what experiences you have in various roles and are happy to share.

For me, I’ve always mentored through the CharityComms’ mentoring scheme who will match you with mentees, though a lot of organisation bodies will likely have a mentoring scheme or be able to point you to one at least.

Obviously you don’t have to go through a body like CharityComms, it could well be a case of tapping into your networks, getting the word out internally where you work, or externally even through your social channels.

In addition to ‘giving back’, there are a huge range of personal development benefits that mentors gain from the experience, including increased self-confidence, leadership skill development, exposure to new and different perspectives, and many more.

According to a Forbes article, although 87% of mentors and mentees saying that their relationship make them feel empowered, and 97% of mentees saying they feel they are highly impactful and valuable due to their sessions with their mentor, only 37% of professionals have a mentor.

Here at Hatch we have witnessed the value that having a mentor has had for the founders on our programmes, especially with the witnessing of people with shared experiences in leadership positions.

We believe in the power of representation and would love to see more people signing up for mentoring across the board so that people could feel empowered in the reflection of themselves through others and feel more empowered in their entrepreneurial journey.

Want to mentor with Hatch?

Do you have expertise that you would like to share with people launching their business, small business owners, and underrepresented founders?

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