Beamish Associates International offers two complimentary individualised services to Managers and Directors. Master Class and the Mentoring Service are designed to help those who either wish to improve particular management skills or take a broader look at their personal development. The two are complimentary because they frequently overlap or merge. Individuals have started a Master Class and then decided to take a broader approach. Others have started a mentoring programme and decided that they needed to improve particular skills to allow them to achieve their goals.
No matter what the starting point Beamish Associates International offer a confidential, tailored approach to meet the individual’s needs.
Despite its associations with education, professional mentoring is not a teaching service. Mentors act as trusted and experienced facilitators in helping individuals achieve their maximum development potential. They do not teach individuals, but they do stretch them. Their understanding and experience of the process of defining goals, mapping strengths and weaknesses, and motivation, help individuals determine where they want to be at some point in the future. Their knowledge and experience of organisational dynamics then helps them guide individuals towards the steps they need to take to achieve those goals.
Mentoring concentrates on the present and the future not the past. It is therefore not a therapy.
Mentoring is a process that requires the development of trust and respect and a degree of personal chemistry, but it does not have to be built on personal liking. It also requires a careful balance between advice and dependency. Therefore not all mentoring processes work. The key ingredient is the degree of openness, candour and respect that can be established between the participants. Too high a degree of personal liking may actually inhibit the process because it may reduce the degree of candour or encourage dependency.
A successful mentoring process allows the mentee to develop a vision of where they want to be in the future, to build a plan to achieve that vision and to develop the skills, attitudes and knowledge required to reach their goals.
Beamish Associates International’s Approach
The approach is determined by our belief that development is not purely a process of growth. You can say that a graveyard grows but that growth doesn’t enable the graveyard to do anything for itself or for others. Real development is the increase in the ability to solve one’s own and other people’s problems. Therefore it is not a growth in knowledge alone that creates development. It may be the reassessment and realignment of existing knowledge or simply putting that knowledge to a different use.
Given the degree of difficulty in establishing the right relationship of all the factors mentioned above Beamish Associates International prefers a relationship that exists on a session to session basis. Both parties have the right to terminate the relationship at any time. However, a typical successful relationship will go through four major stages.
The Review Stage
This stage determines what is expected from the mentoring and mutually determining reasonable outcomes. It will also involve a review of the history of the individual’s development and an assessment of motivation, strengths and areas for development.
Beamish Associates International prefers to use a number of psychological profiles at this stage primarily to provide a common shorthand language for future discussion and analysis.
The stage is usually the most intensive in terms of contact involving somewhere between six to ten hours.
The Planning Stage
This stage starts to set goals and to design methods of achieving those goals.
The Performing Stage
This stage is usually the one spread over the longest period time and consists of reviews of progress, problem solving, revision of goals and dealing with specific situations and circumstances as they arise. The Mentors role is not to solve the problems but help the individual in two ways. It may involve helping them through a thought process that enables then to provide solutions, or they may act as a sounding board for solutions, playing at times, a devil’s advocate’s role.
The End Stage
In this Stage the contact becomes much less frequent and probably only involves major new developments, or the need to reassess progress after a period of years. There may be no formal end to the relationship just a diminishing need for the service.
This Stage may take months or years to develop, although by its nature mentoring tends to be for a limited period.
Senior Executives who wish to develop particular skills often find it difficult to fit in with traditional training programmes.
Traditional programmes run on a fixed calendar, they progress at the pace of the slowest learner, and individual practice time has to be shared with all participants. It may also be difficult to free a number of consecutive days from a busy diary.
These problems are accentuated where a particular skill is being learned. For example, in a presentation skills course much of the time is taken up acting as an audience for other people. Executives may also feel some unease in learning in front of other people.
Master Class tries to overcome these disadvantages and provide a quicker, more efficient and flexible method of learning particular skills. Through saving time it is also a more cost-effective method. For example, a two-day traditional programme may be reduced to less than a day.
Master Class is an individual coaching session with one Consultant and one Executive. It is organised at a time and venue to suit the executive’s work schedule and can be taken in modules. The result is a faster more effective learning process. No time is wasted by different speeds of learning, watching others practise or having to travel to the course venue. Master Class can often be brought to the Executive’s office or Boardroom.
Master Class is best suited to easily identifiable skills like presentations, interviewing, selling, and handling the media.
Beamish Associates International introduced this approach twenty years ago and has wide experience with Chief Executives, Managing Directors and Senior Managers.