Why You Should Become an ACOSVO Mentor

ACOSVO recently caught up with Ted Campbell, a Leadership & Executive Coach, and ACOSVO mentor, to discuss what encouraged him to utilise his skills for mentoring; what’s changed in the pandemic; and why a lack of experience shouldn’t put you off becoming a mentor for others.


I get a chance to watch people grow, and push away all the things that get in the way. I learn so much from mentees and have enjoyed adding to my networks.

–  Beverley Francis, Interim Chief Executive, Consultant, and ACOSVO Mentor

 

It gives me great satisfaction to lend my support to colleagues who are invariably doing great work while finding some aspects challenging. I feel privileged to be taken into their confidence and to use my experience to help them. I also enjoy learning about the different organisations and keeping up-to-date with developments in the sector.

– Marjory Burns, retired, previous Director, British Heart Foundation, and ACOSVO Mentor

 

You might know that as an ACOSVO member, you have free access to a network of voluntary mentors who have a range of skills and experience to help you to reflect on your work and your leadership role, but have you ever considered becoming a mentor yourself?

 

ACOSVO recently caught up with Ted Campbell, a Leadership & Executive Coach, and ACOSVO mentor, to discuss what encouraged him to utilise his skills for mentoring; what’s changed in the pandemic; and why a lack of experience shouldn’t put you off becoming a mentor for others.

 

Ted: I had been an executive coach and mentor for leaders in the private and public sector for about 18 years when I joined ACOSVO as a mentor in 2019. I was very aware of the importance of the work being done by charitable organisations in Scotland and that the leaders in these organisations would benefit from some support, as in any other sector. Thus, I saw this as an opportunity to apply my professional skills to give something back to our society.

 

My favourite thing about mentoring is seeing each mentee grow as a person and a leader and then building their part of the organisation into something which serves their staff and client groups even better than before

 

ACOSVO: How has the pandemic affected your mentoring?

 

The advent of the pandemic changed my work with mentees from face-to-face sessions to conversations, via Zoom. However, excepting the odd techno hiccup or a cat wanting to join a call(!), then the technology has worked well for both mentees and myself. When some sort of normality returns, I will occasionally want to meet my mentees face to face but I expect that the bulk of our work will happen online.

 

ACOSVO: And what about any advice for someone who might be considering becoming a mentor either now or in the future?

 

I have had the privilege of training mentors in the past and one concern I often heard from potential mentors was that they felt that they might not have enough knowledge or experience to support the specific challenges from mentees. So, my advice would be: while your level of knowledge and experience will undoubtedly be useful for your mentee, it is as important, and sometimes more important, for you simply to provide a safe space and a listening ear.

 

In any case, we can only offer our knowledge and experience as the basis of possibilities for our mentees, as, in reality, we can never know what is right for them.

 

Whether you’re currently in a leadership position, thinking about what you want to do next, out of post, retired or just want to encourage others and hone your own skills, becoming an ACOSVO mentor has benefits both mentee and mentor alike. If you’re interested in utilising our mentoring service, either as a mentor or mentee, get in touch with services@acosvo.org.uk. We’d be delighted to hear from you.