Building mentoring skills
When I was young, I enjoyed working within my mother’s off-licence. Like all good business-owners, she had rules – these are the fundamental business rules I still follow.
- Always smile, however you’re feeling.
- Learn people’s names, make sure your customer knows they’re important to you.
- When there’s no-one there, polish. There is always work to be done to provide the best service.
Each customer or client is a vital part of your business picture, and each small task is an indication of how you value them and who you are. Individual tasks add up to big things that change the course of your business, and with a carefully crafted strategy that course will go where you want it to.
Since my twenties I have been mentoring as part of my day job; working with people who want to be the best they can be in their business careers. I have honed my skills mentoring all types of people, in different contexts and diverse businesses.
Lessons from life
Throughout my own professional life, I’ve worked up through major companies. Starting as a management trainee at the National Freight Corporation, I worked in exciting and challenging roles to become the No. 2 in the HR function, learning always to be proactive, innovative and commercial. After this, I was privileged to be the Personnel Director at Sketchley, ensuring the focus of the business was always on giving great customer service on a daily basis.
I ran my first business as a management consultant and trainer for 12 years, which grew to include 5 consultants. During this time I started working with Bedfordia Group as a non-executive director, but I became executive as the first Chief Executive of Bedfordia Motor Holdings. Here I was tasked with creating, and delivering, a strategy for four free standing motor dealerships.
In 2007, I decided to develop a full-time mentoring business allowing me to support other professionals as they grow.
As part of The Higgins Museum’s celebration of a century of women in the county, I was honoured to be selected to feature in their Celebrating the Women of Bedfordshire exhibition in 2018. Of 60 women selected to represent the achievements of women in the county in the last 100 years, I was one of only four representing business.
And here’s my perspective
Business is exciting but scary. It changes all the time and we must be constantly proactive to stay ahead of the competition. I believe we are learning all the time but we cannot always analyse that by ourselves. Let me share my insight with you.