For you, new and popular

An edit of newly added resources and those proving consistently popular among our partners' teams.
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Raul Aparici on mitigating impostor syndrome
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Kate and Catherine on pausing, for conversational space
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Kate and Catherine on intentional listening
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Kate and Catherine on questioning well
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Worksheet: Time Blocking
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Kate and Catherine on the coaching opportunity
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Matteo's coaching reflections
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Kas's reflections on listening and questioning well
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Time Blocking, and bringing some colour into your calendar
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Worksheet: Owning Feedback
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Making the case for situational flexibility as leaders
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eCourse: Difficult Conversations
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Mentors, Sponsors and Champions. With Abi Adamson
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Effective Allyship. With Abi Adamson
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What's your Privilege Pledge? With Abi Adamson
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Diversify your feed. With Abi Adamson
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Privilege reflections. With Abi Adamson
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Mindful toothbrushing. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Anchor dropping. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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5,4,3,2,1 — a mindfulness technique. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Urge surfing. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Everyday mindfulness. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Making room for emotions (and the weather). With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Letting go of emotions. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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How do you notice your thoughts? With Dr. Sam Akbar
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A coaching conversation around strengths
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eCourse: Confidence Mastery
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Daniel Goleman's Six Leadership Styles, explained by Louise Hedges
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eCourse: Mastering Delegation
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eCourse: Time Management and Prioritisation
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eCourse: Get SET with your Goals
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Perspectives on privilege, with Abi Adamson
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Neurodivergent Perspectives. Lexi Keegan in conversation with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neurodiversity know-how: The Spiky Profile explained
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Neurodiversity explained, with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neuroinclusion at work: Thinking about adjustments
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Neurodiversity know-how. Autism with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neurodiversity know-how. ADHD with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neurodiversity know-how. Dyslexia with Dr. Anne Cockayne
Micro-learning: Setting Better Boundaries
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eCourse: Practicing a Coaching Approach
Finding fortitude, and follow on experiments
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eCourse: Conscious Inclusion
Seven things to avoid when writing at work
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Share genuinely useful feedback with the BID model
Solve problems before they happen with pre-mortems
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Five tactics for influencing those more senior
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Five powerful questions for adding impact and insight to your next interview.
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Try out the CAR technique, and upgrade your understanding when interviewing someone.
Good Qs
Smart ways to frame questions in your next mentoring session
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Try the 5 Whys to invigorate your problem solving and add depth to your decisions.
Allyship CP
Course Pack: Effective Allyship, with Abi Adamson
Course Pack: Voice Gym. Building your vocal confidence
A three minute mindset exercise, to support a coaching approach
Try this deep listening exercise for deeper connection and better conversations
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Experiment with the BRAIN model for confident decision making and problem solving
Discover the impact a five minute favour can have on your relationships, and network building
Homework for Life: A ten-second daily ritual for noticing, capturing and practicing stories
Course Pack: Storytelling
Do Story
Practical storytelling principles from Bobette Buster's book — Do: Story
Evolve your 'inner mentor' — a short reflective exercise to focus your development, and the ways you can better support others
Experiment with a Springboard Story to communicate your change idea, and take people with you towards it.
N Ngrab
Course Pack: Natural Networking
Tone Policing - What it is, why it's unhelpful and how to helpfully notice it.
Coaching Criticism
Find the Coaching in Criticism. Things to try when feedback doesn't quite land
4 Ds
The 4Ds. A practical framework for acknowledging microaggressions
Mindful breathing — the foundation of focus and flow
Channel that fly on the wall. Try some purposeful self talk to mitigate moments of doubt
Add some friction to your most common distractions
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Build belief by recognising small wins — Try a 'Done List'
Silent Meeting
Make your next meeting a Silent Meeting
Can If Go
Immediately build your confidence, with a 'Can-If' statement
To Think
Don't forget to diarise thinking time — experiment with a 'To Think' list
Smarten your approach to setbacks, by trying out a Setback Story
Get clear on control with a Clarity Clap
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Everything I Know about Life I Learned from PowerPoint — What we learned and where it led...
How to be a meaningful mentor, insights from a purposeful podcast
If Then New
Design (and share) your If > Then statements, for a purposefully prompt towards action
Practice the principles of persuasion from 'Godfather of Influence,' Robert Cialdini.
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Six steps for finding focus and flow, with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in mind
Course Pack: Making Time
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Great questions to ask in coaching conversations, 1-1's and other curious contexts

How to be a meaningful mentor, insights from a purposeful podcast

About to begin a mentoring journey? Want to bring some mentoring skills into your work? In this episode of their excellent Squiggly Careers podcast, Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis — co-founders of workplace learning practice ‘Amazing If' — offer practical advice for your most meaningful mentoring relationships.

The episode is often shared and recommended with participants in the various mentoring programmes we run, as it includes lots of advice on skills and mindsets to suit all kinds of mentoring contexts, not just 'formal' programmes.

Alongside a link to the episode, we’ve shared some bite sized takeaways all intending to inject a mentoring mindset into the day-to-day, alongside links to some lateral learning elsewhere.

“Having that clarity and a shared sense of expectation from the outset can really mean that you get the most from the conversations that you’re having.”
Helen Tupper
Get clear on confidentiality, and how the relationship will tick.

When you’re beginning a 1-1 mentoring relationship, you need to clarify how far beyond the coffee table or computer screen your conversations will go. If your mentee isn’t clear on the confidentiality of your conversations they might hold-back key questions: worse, they might feel free to talk about anything and everything, not knowing their comments are heard by higher-ups. So get clear on this 'contracting' (a fancy coaching word to mean a mutual understanding) at the outset, and make a shared record of it in a simple doc.

Set expectations (and stick to them)

As well as agreeing on confidentiality it's important to agree with your mentee about the ins-and-outs of your relationship too. It gives your mentee an awareness of expectation and, when you do meet, means that both mentee and mentor get the most from the conversation. How often will you be meeting? And where? If virtually, will you use Teams, Zoom or something else? How long will each conversation be? Will this be a one-off, or something long-term? Is the schedule of meetings fluid or fixed?

It also helps to find ways your mentee can help you be your best. If you’d prefer your mentee email questions or topics ahead of your meetings, let them know. If there’s a time of day you work best, make sure your mentee always puts that time aside for you. However you’ll be able to give your mentee your best self, tell them. It benefits you both.

Break the ice

The better you know someone the better you can help them, so sending your mentee a handful of ‘getting to know you,’ questions before your first meeting is a must. Open questions like ‘what are you most proud of?’ ‘how would you like to improve?’ and ‘what’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome?’ draw out insightful answers that help you help your mentee, and kickstart what will be a great relationship.

Helen and Sarah recommend asking your mentee for their ‘four h’s,’ - their heroes, their heartbreaks (work related, not romantic), their hopes and their history. It’s a short, simple little ice breaking tool that sheds a surprising amount of light on who they are, what they want to be, and how you can help.

👉 Alternatively, both mentor and mentee could create a Manual of Me - an inclusive tool for collaborative work that launches conversations around strengths, differences, and your best ways of working. More on that here.

Direction, not answers

A quick example: the mentorship is up and running, and your mentee mentions confidence and self-belief as areas they’d like to improve. You struggled with confidence when you first started, but you’ve made leaps and bounds, and feel well equipped to tell them exactly what to do. But should you?

It’s important to remember that what has worked for you is not necessarily what’s going to work for your mentee. And if you do give a decisive answer - ‘take this course,’ ‘read this book,’ - you’re taking away the ownership of your mentee's learning. A mentor guides their mentee through the problem solving process rather than solving it themselves: it’s a skill that needs practice, but having the opportunity to develop it is why so many people become mentors to begin with.

You need to focus, instead, on giving mentees a sense of direction; guide them through self-learning. Saying “I’ve been exactly where you are, and some of the things that helped me were [X,Y and Z],” leads with empathy and offers ideas, but leaves the decision making and learning to them. Offering options but allowing autonomy is a powerful mentoring tactic.

👉 And if you're ever struggling with something, or want a second pair of eyes on your work, don’t hesitate to ask your mentee for some feedback. It’s a great way to flip the script.

Good to know

👉 Our Next Gen Leaders programme connects industry professionals with diverse and ambitious young people for mutually valuable development — based on a mentoring relationship. Learn more here.

👉 Our ten minute Meaningful Mentoring eCourse offers some really practical and experiential insights on getting the most from mentoring relationships.

Hungry for more?

Watch: Skills and Mindsets for Making Mentoring Meaningful

In this bite-sized video, Isabel Farchy, founder and CEO of the Creative Mentor Network, discusses the importance of balancing authority and friendliness, the distinction between coaching and mentoring, and how to be the best mentor you can be. Watch that here.

Read: How to be an Amazing Mentor

Hubspot’s blog post elaborates on a lot of the advice from Helen and Sarah’s podcast while guiding you through the need for emotional intelligence, honesty about mistakes and shortcomings, and how to help your mentee outside of your 1-1s. Read on.

Watch: Setting Mentoring Relationships up for Success

Another great bite-sized video, this time from Rachel Gott; founder of women’s creative mentoring network Who’s Your Momma. Here, Gott talks through how to let your mentee guide your sessions together, and gives practical advice to mentees about ‘mentor turn offs.’ That's here.

More Resources