Mentoring is a hugely fulfilling experience for the mentor as well as the mentee. Carving out a regular time to consider your development with someone entirely separate to your workplace and a fresh pair of eyes can help both participants learn from each other.
Mentoring works well when participants are:
- Giving with their industry and professional knowledge and experience.
- Open and willing to consider change where this is necessary to aid development.
- Open to new ways of learning and working which might challenge your thoughts and ideas.
- Honest with themselves and their mentor/mentee, particularly if they do not feel that something is working in the arrangement.
- Ready to commit to professional development by the giving and receiving of honest feedback.
- Recognising the investment being made in professional and personal development.
- Accepting that commitment must first come before they can reap the benefits.
Role of heat network mentor
- Be focused on the mentee’s best interests, which include the aims and objectives outlined in this agreement.
- Support and encourage the mentee to develop to their full potential.
- Allow the mentee to develop their own approaches and questions and seek feedback
(i.e. ‘don’t just tell them what to do’).
- Share industry knowledge and experience.
- Be open, objective and non-judgemental, enabling the mentee to work towards their own aims and objectives.
- Ask questions to help progress the mentees professional development.
Role of heat network mentee
- Analyse your own strengths and weaknesses.
- Set and review clear aims and objectives for the mentoring arrangement.
- Prepare for mentoring conversations, activities and discussions by formulating questions, ideas, topics, approaches etc. looking at these from as many angles as possible.
- Develop your own thinking and suggested approaches and questions
(i.e. ‘don’t expect your mentor just to tell you what to do’).
- Invite feedback and listen with an open mind.
- Invite your mentor to share their ideas and experiences and seek to understand the reasons or process behind this.
It is envisaged that the mentor-mentee relationship will largely consist of regular meetings face to face, by phone or conference call as agreed by the pair. The discussion at these meetings will be shaped by the pair and may take either a soft skills personal development route or tackle specific heat network sector issues.
In addition to regular meetings a mentor-mentee pair may also choose to undertake some of the activities below, but this is entirely at their own discretion and there is no obligation on either party to offer or take part in these:
- Introductions to contacts or networks.
- Sharing resources: reports, articles etc.
- Shadowing: meetings, site visits, etc.
- Joint attendance to events, seminars and conferences.
Expected time commitment
This is flexible and to be agreed for each matched mentoring pair however as a guide a minimum of one meeting every four to eight weeks is recommended.
The first mentor menteee meeting
When matched, the mentor and mentee will then discuss the expectations and boundaries of the relationship and put this in a mentor agreement so that there is a common understanding from the start. To support this a mentoring agreement template will be provided that can be tailored for each matched pair. When the agreement is completed and signed the mentor and mentee each keep a copy. This agreement does not need to be returned to the Heat Exchanger working group. The agreement template can be provided in advance of applying or being matched, if requested.
Confidentiality & non-disclosure
The content of the mentoring meetings will be confidential, unless the mentor and mentee mutually agree to share any content with colleagues, contacts or other heat network mentors/mentees. The Heat Exchanger application process will seek to avoid any commercially incompatible matches. In addition, in the first meeting pairs should identify any commercial sensitivities to steer clear of in future meetings and note these in the mentoring agreement which will be provided to all participants.