I see Mentoring as guiding, helping and advising a client with their own management process regarding their personal change and development – albeit in a specified area. This would tend to follow on from a period of technical or performance specific coaching and is designed to just embed into place all the new and changed habits and routines.
I like to draw the analogy with learning to ride a bike.

We’ve worked on the learning and conditioning – now I’m holding the saddle in a steady, upright position for the client whilst they get comfortable with how they are performing their bike riding. After a period of riding we’ll examine their progress at putting their skills into action and discuss any changes and adjustments they might want to make – fine tuning, if you like.

This will be akin to my letting go of the saddle, and allowing them to go ‘solo’. Once going it alone, I will still be there in the background for them of course – and they can check in with me at any time. I also do quite a lot of mentoring for clients after they have made changes of a therapeutic nature, by just being there for them. I’d characterise this as being in the form of an email, a quick phone or Skype call, or even a message on Facebook or text. It is usually just a reassurance, a cost-free safety net, for them on their journey.

For a more formalised mentoring programme, we would establish a mutual time-frame of short meetings. Out of these might emerge the need for revisiting some process coaching – which could either be done at the time, or by making an additional appointment.