Based on countless case studies, mentoring may prove to be one of the most valuable aids to a mentee’s professional and personal development. 

We’ve recently launched our very first Mentoring Programme for members, a unique scheme bringing together current cultural leaders and the next generation in the only programme of its kind for commercial entrepreneurs. 

The programme is open to members of any age, from any background, any area of the sector and because it’s all online, any location. It’s an opportunity to get ahead and effect real change in your life, especially if you’re from a background that is often under-represented in our sector. 

If you can identify goals that you want to achieve in your life and career, having a mentor could help you realise your potential. Based on countless case studies, mentoring may prove to be one of the most valuable aids to a mentee’s professional and personal development. 

What is Mentoring?

Mentoring is a one to one relationship between two people with the goal of professional and personal development. Our programme is designed to help develop commercial and people skills, confidence, strategic thinking and performance. 

Working with a mentor is not just about getting that promotion (though that could certainly be one outcome!). You might be someone who’s not usually in a position of leadership, or perhaps you’d like to develop your communication skills, or simply raise your profile and have more of a voice within your team. A mentor could help build your confidence and self-esteem as well as helping you to develop new skills and achieve goals – all things which will have a positive impact on your personal life as well as your career.

Getting the Best Out of Your Experience

Gabriela Gandolfini is Head of Visitor Experience at the Royal Opera House and also delivers the Mentoring & Performance Coaching course in the Cultural Enterprises Academy. She is a firm believer that professional growth comes from self-awareness, and that mentoring can really help you get ahead of the curve on that. Here are Gabriela’s top tips for getting the best out of your mentee experience:

  • Prepare to be asked difficult questions and to be quizzed on the “whys” and “hows” behind your decisions. Try not to get defensive – the tough questions are there for your benefit and no one else’s.
  • Be respectful of your mentor’s experience, time and generosity, but also be honest with them about how you feel, your worries and what may be holding you back from getting the most out of the programme.
  • Keep an open mind. Even if a suggested approach is not suitable for you, it will still help you broaden your problem-solving portfolio.
  • Ask your mentor about mistakes they’ve made and how they fixed them. Your mentor is human too and they’ve been where you are now. Do it right and you’ll be forming an amazing professional relationship for life.
  • Finally, make sure you fully embrace the opportunity. Be open, be honest, be ready – your future awaits!

A lot about professional growth comes from self-awareness, and mentoring can really help you get ahead of the curve on that. Be open, be honest, be ready.

Gabriela Gandolfini, Head of Visitor Experience, Royal Opera House

How to Get Involved

The Mentoring Programme will award places to six mentees and six mentors and will last for 12 months. It includes an Introduction and Matching Day, and a Training Day for mentors, and it’s completely free, one of the many benefits of Association membership. 

Mentoring can enhance the culture of an organisation by helping people to realise their potential. So if you have any younger team members who have potential and would benefit from the scheme please do encourage them to apply. Applications from both mentees and mentors must be in by Monday 21 September 2020. For more information and the full Prospectus, click here.

Joanne Whitworth
By Joanne Whitworth
Jo is Communications & Media Manager at the Association for Cultural Enterprises.
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