Peer to peer mentoring - expertise in your back pocket

In the years of financial austerity many small businesses are considering the best cost effective way to continuously develop their employees and owners. It is becoming increasingly clear for some businesses, that peer to peer mentoring is the solution that they are seeking.

What is peer mentoring and does it differ from coaching?

Coaching and mentoring are quite different although a lot of practioners use the terms interchangeably. Coaching begins with the premise that the answers are within the person being coached. The coach's role is to help the individual understand that and via the use of encouraging and questioning techniques, helps elicit the solution. A coach is generally non directional and never provides advice.

By contrast a mentor is an expert who provides guidance and advice within a more developmental relationship. Mentoring requires flexibility of the mentor and their ability to use a wide range of techniques to guide the mentee.

Peer mentoring takes place when the mentor is not in a position of authority over the mentee. For example in an Ecademy Boardroom all the attendees play the role of a mentor. The mentor will guide their boardroom member based on the life experience that they have gained and their professional expertise within the business arena. Whilst the attendees may not be professional mentors (like myself ;) ) the Boardroom experience allows for the direct transfer of knowledge therefore reducing the business owner's learning curve.

I have a specialist working with me on the business - do I need Peer to peer mentoring?

This is a question often asked and I believe that this is because business owners are confused as to the purpose of peer to peer mentoring and the benefits that it can bring. Peer to peer mentoring of the type demonstrated in an Ecademy Boardroom, provides not only quality advice from a diverse group of people it also brings support and development to the business owner by a group of dedicated peers.

The development opportunity for business owners in a Boardroom is complementary to working with a specialist on your business and should not be viewed as a substitute. It affords the ability for you to test out new ideas, develop new concepts and sound check the advice of your specialist - therefore adding value to both relationships. Your specialist will provide advice on the area of their specialism and your Boardroom peers advise on your business in a holistic way from the benefit of the years experience that are often in the room.

Professional mentors ask their clients challenging questions and as Boardroom attendees are playing the role of peer mentors, they tend to ask pertinent challenging questions that get to the route of the issue. The confidential relationship of the peer to peer mentoring group often releases the business owner from having to uphold a facade that suggests that there is little need for support. Once this is shed, the business owner can tap into the expertise of the group and take control of their own development and business success.

It is often hard for business owners to release the funds for specialist advice on the key areas of their business - especially when the advice is available on demand every working day (and sometimes weekend) of the month. Boardrooms are a diverse mix of skills and expertise over the areas of Marketing, Business Consulting, Sales, Web design, lead generation, finance and many more functional areas. It is fairly uncommon to have such expertise available at short notice on a regular basis which is one of the benefits of peer to peer mentoring, for the busy business owner.

I believe that as the world changes to one where people prefer relationships to transactions, business will need to be conducted in a different way. Personal recommendations and social proofing will become the watch words and businesses will need to be smarter, faster, more efficient, connected and able to change at a frightening pace. For many businesses, buying the expertise of an ever increasing number of specialists will just not be an option. It will be increasingly necessary for them to turn to peer to peer mentoring for the personal support, development and expertise that they seek.

Ecademy Boardrooms which are designed to facilitate the very best of peer to peer mentoring practices may just be the accessible option that businesses need today and for the future.

What do you think? Have you considered peer to peer mentoring and will you try the Ecademy Boardroom (#EcademyBR) experience?



Judith Germain - Reputation Catalyst
Dynamic Transitions Ltd - Specialising in Leading through influence

T: +44 (0) 208 288 0512; or jude@dynamic-transitions.co.uk for Leadership dRive™ - Reputation and Influence combined

Gordon Wheaton

gordonwheaton-294525

Peer to peer mentoring - expertise in your back pocket

I will certainly try the Ecademy boardroom experience Judith. I haven't yet, but it is on my list of things to try Regards Gordon

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N Bhashyam

dr-nbhashyam-263898

Peer to peer mentoring - expertise in your back pocket

Thank you for sharing very innovative and highly novel concept.

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Arne Diependaele

arnediependaele-381254

Peer to peer mentoring - expertise in your back pocket

Great blog Judith, I relate to everything you say. I am a business mentor myself and having something like the boardroom you promote is absolutely a great idea. Thanks for sharing this with the community Arne & Ilse Uniflow Ltd. Auckland, New Zealand email: arne.diependaele@xtra.co.nz mob: +64 21 220 3745

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Judith Germain

judithgermain-78129

Peer to peer mentoring - expertise in your back pocket

Thanks for your kind comment David - of course you should. Do let me know if you need any other support on Boardrooms. If you filter the articles using the category Boardroom - you will find a list of ever increasing blogs on Boardrooms that will be useful for any person interested in attending a Boardroom. Take care Jude Follow @MaverickMastery Judith Germain - Reputation CatalystDynamic Transitions Ltd - Specialising in Leading through influence T: +44 (0) 208 288 0512; or jude@dynamic-transitions.co.uk for Leadership dRive™ - Reputation and Influence combined

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David Holroyd-Doveton

david-doveton-395666

Peer to peer mentoring - expertise in your back pocket

Absolutely brilliant Judith. With your permission I would like to point my prospective Boardroom Members to this Blog. Please do let me know if this is OK. David david@holroyd-doveton.co.uk Direct Tel: 01245 299152 Mob: 07881 924 159 Positive Print & Design Limited Unit 3. Kingsdale Business Centre Regina Road, Chelmsford CM1 1PE Tel: 01245 299150 Fax: 01245 299151 email: info@positivepd.co.uk www.positivepd.co.uk

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Judith Germain

judithgermain-78129

Peer to peer mentoring - expertise in your back pocket

Hi Jonnie Thanks for your kind comments on this blog. As a professional mentor I often see a confusion between the role of a mentor and a coach and how this confusion can cause dissatisfaction with the client and the results that they achieve. It is entirely complimentary having a professional mentor and belonging to the Boardroom as the support provided is different. In fact I mentor someone who is also in a Boardroom I chair and it is a great additional support for them and moves our sessions along as well. The very best peer to peer mentoring will use the challenging and supportive techniques of a professional mentor as well as the direct knowledge transfer. This is why the Boardroom concept is so special. Ecademy Boardrooms do allow you to get to know a group of people that care for your success as a professional mentor does, and will dig deep with you to help you achieve your goals and ambitions. If it is useful, I'm happy to talk to you late afternoon we can chat about your local boardrooms and help you decide which one to sample that is best suited to your character. I look forward to seeing you again, and as you know I'm always around to give you support. Take care Jude Follow @MaverickMastery Judith Germain - Reputation CatalystDynamic Transitions Ltd - Specialising in Leading through influence T: +44 (0) 208 288 0512; or jude@dynamic-transitions.co.uk for Leadership dRive™ - Reputation and Influence combined

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Jonnie Jensen

jonniejensen1-420583

Peer to peer mentoring - expertise in your back pocket

Hi Judith, Knowing how and where to develop my business forward is a subject I am wrestling with at the moment. I've done some work with a coach but two two hour sessions dont really feel like the on-going support I need to overcome the physical and mental hurdles that success entails. You make a solid case for the boardroom and other forms of mentoring. Thanks for sharing... Jonnie Jensen Digital Coach - Social Media Success Engineer "It's why you are doing it that makes the difference" tel: 02032862306 To Be Social jonniejensen@tobesocial.com twitter.com/jonniejensen

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Terry Toms

terrytoms-14402

Peer to peer mentoring - expertise in your back pocket

Hi Judith. Great to see your blog and good to connect again after a number of busy years when I did not find time to network online. I should have done more, because all networking provides inspiration and ideas. Having enjoyed the Guildford ecademy Boardroom recently and other similar events I had not connected with how this can be applied in businesses, but this will be powerful, so thank you for highlighting it. It is great to see the way ecademy has progressed. I like, and agree with, your definition of coaches and mentors. Having spent three years training to be a mentor with one of the government development agencies, it always surprised me that they said they were training us to be mentors, but the content of the programme was all about training in coaching. While, some of the methods are used in both, I think the difference is clear and is as you have explained - and is important. The mentor needs to be in a position to say this "While only you see the situation fully, my experience tells me that you should consider this, or these, options". While the mentor should be prepared to have his or her advice ignored, they should always be prepared to give advice.........this is the way the mentor can add value. Other ecademists may know more about this than I do but I have heard that the new government led mentoring scheme is somehow discouraging mentors from giving advice. This seems odd and surely defeats the objective in mentoring. Terry Toms www.execnet.co.uk www.randdtax.co.uk

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Penny Power

penny-power-1001

Peer to peer mentoring - expertise in your back pocket

This is a brilliant Blog Jude You apply powerful words and thoughts to a concept that is not sully understood. For me, the words 'unconditional love' some up Peer to Peer mentoring When you can go into an environment with a parent, friend, business, mentor, coach that is all about the shared gain and the openness to talk and know that you will be listened to, truely listened to, then that is actually 'unconditional love'. Receiving this form of attention is te greatest gift you can be given. Giving it is the greatest gift you can give. the Boardrooms never fail to amaze me as I have never witnessed someone selling OR giving their opinion to manipulate a gain. Often in business I see someone giving advise based on what they are wanting to sell. In the Boardrooms I see people giving the advice based on 'the best advice'. That is the power, and so when we hold people's hearts and futurs in our hands, we give, we never seek to gain or take. Thank you Jude, lovely to have this Blog to reference to warm regards Penny Power Founder of Ecademy and Ecademy Digital School Helping you build social capital in your business and life Follow @pennypower Follow @pennypower I support:  

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Demos Flouri

demosflouri

Peer to peer mentoring - expertise in your back pocket

Love your blogs Jude.        Web - Social Media - Design - Print - Digital Coaching - SEO

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