• Welcome Guest to the new look forum. For more information refer to this thread

Weekly discussion: Qualifying to lead

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#21
Having looked at some old training resources, I think what is needed is a focus on what the purpose of the training is from several points of vew:
* the trainee - what is it essential for them to know, ideal for them to know, helpful/interesting for them to know?
* the unit - what would they need the trainee to know, what would they ideally want the trainee to know, what might it be helpful for them to know?
* the district - what would they need the trainee to learn, want the trainee to learn, find it helpful if the trainee learned?

And finally - where, and to what extent, credit is given for prior knowledge and experience, which could be from any of a range of sources.

Using this knowledge would help in working out what absolutely must be in the training programme. What we'd like to have in the training programme. And what we might like to have in the training programme if space allowed.
 

Tregi

Veteran (100+ posts)
#22
I do wonder (as an ALQ co-ordinator) whether there should be more variety of trainings on offer - some compulsory, some not, depending on the person/experience.
A new to Guiding, or leading, person will probably need assistance in the jargon, crowd control, making sure the smallest voice is heard as often as the loudest, knowing how to deal with bullying (either in or out the unit) and dealing with difficult behaviour - whether that is diagnosed autism, ADHD, the youngest child who wants to be seen/heard. All these things are dealt with week in and week out within Guiding, but there are no trainings for this. I know that in every area there are those who wouldn't go anyway, so do you make it compulsory every so often to do a refresh on these things, or a guidance? There are also new and old leaders who don't struggle with these things, due to work, home life or other reasons that they have come across them. Would it be fair to make them go?
I also think that a section/program training should be done every 3 years - just to go over anything that has changed, and share ideas. There are lots of leaders out there who did the first training to get their ALQ, and nothing since!
 

Trinny

Veteran (100+ posts)
#23
I also still don't seem to have a mentor which is NOT helping things!
The whole mentor system doesn't work in my experience. It often ends up being your unit leader, meaning you don't get a wider experience of other units/methods, or it is someone in the District who you met once that one time and never saw again...
 

ker-stee

SGP Enthusiast
GuiderPlus
#24
The whole mentor system doesn't work in my experience. It often ends up being your unit leader, meaning you don't get a wider experience of other units/methods, or it is someone in the District who you met once that one time and never saw again...
My mentor visited me numerous times, but I knew more about policies and the manual/rules than she did....
 

Tregi

Veteran (100+ posts)
#25
Mentors is a huge challenge - not enough people offer to be them, despite pointing out that it isn't that involved, and then other leaders complain their new leader in training doesn't have one!
The idea is that anyone, old or young, new or not, can be a mentor - all the information you (or they) need is on the guiding website, if you have completed it yourself fairly recently (last 10 years!) it hasn't changed much.
We have 3 or 4 people who end up looking after 10-15 leaders in training, so therefore they don't get to see them as much as they like. If every unit had to provide 1 mentor ( I know people who run lots of units, that doesn't always work) then there would be enough. We try and do the opposite district in our division (of 2 districts) but at present, all the guide mentors are one district, and the brownies the other!!
 

ker-stee

SGP Enthusiast
GuiderPlus
#26
Mentors is a huge challenge - not enough people offer to be them, despite pointing out that it isn't that involved, and then other leaders complain their new leader in training doesn't have one!
The idea is that anyone, old or young, new or not, can be a mentor - all the information you (or they) need is on the guiding website, if you have completed it yourself fairly recently (last 10 years!) it hasn't changed much.
We have 3 or 4 people who end up looking after 10-15 leaders in training, so therefore they don't get to see them as much as they like. If every unit had to provide 1 mentor ( I know people who run lots of units, that doesn't always work) then there would be enough. We try and do the opposite district in our division (of 2 districts) but at present, all the guide mentors are one district, and the brownies the other!!
It would also be nice if offers of being mentors were taken up when people volunteer.

I offered and was told 'We don't need you as we don't do it that way in this district'
 

Tregi

Veteran (100+ posts)
#27
It would also be nice if offers of being mentors were taken up when people volunteer.

I offered and was told 'We don't need you as we don't do it that way in this district'
Yep - the problem is that there is no set way to mentor, so every area does it differently. If I could, I would have a leader of the same section from a different area, who was 3-5 yrs in to leading, or over that but up to date (e-learnings, trainings, now new program knowledge). If it worked that way, everyone would do 1 or 2 people, and then pass the baton over to the ones they have mentored.
 

Quack

Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#28
Yes, that would be the ideal but sadly that's not always possible...so areas don't have people with that profile, sometimes the more experienced leaders step in and maybe their experience isn't as up to date as we'd like but more often people just don't offer to do anything beyond their unit.
 

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#29
In some areas, there are mentors who haven't had a mentee to look after for years, because the DCs want to mentor all the candidates as a group (regardless of which section the candidates are working with, and whether the Commissioners have much experience of that section). They would love to be utilised, but aren't.
 

helenfelen

Veteran (100+ posts)
#30
i think also the problem with volunteering to be a mentor is unless you have been a leader for quite a while - ie 5-10yrs + you don't feel qualified and/or sometimes are not encouraged to step forward which is also an issue for other roles as well such as advisor or d/div comm etc. all the mentors in my county are over 60yrs old & been in guiding for over 40+yrs so it's a bit intimidating. (they are all lovely as well i hasten to add)
 

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#31
i think also the problem with volunteering to be a mentor is unless you have been a leader for quite a while - ie 5-10yrs + you don't feel qualified and/or sometimes are not encouraged to step forward which is also an issue for other roles as well such as advisor or d/div comm etc. all the mentors in my county are over 60yrs old & been in guiding for over 40+yrs so it's a bit intimidating. (they are all lovely as well i hasten to add)
Interesting - in some areas they seek those who have just finished themselves - again, they don't have any longer term experience, so while they can advise on 'completing the book' they don't necessarily have much bigger picture knowledge - and how much background knowledge they have depends on how the insights their mentor provided.

Which begs the question - what is the ideal age and experience level for a mentor?
 

partygirl

Veteran (100+ posts)
#32
I find the best mentors are the ones who have just finished (or within 5 years or so) but helenfelen is right, you don't feel like you have enough experience then to be a mentor. Not sure how we can overcome that though.
 

caroline68

Regular (50+ posts)
#33
I find the best mentors are the ones who have just finished (or within 5 years or so) but helenfelen is right, you don't feel like you have enough experience then to be a mentor. Not sure how we can overcome that though.
A good mentor will answer emails and actually read the plan sent to her for her to decide which week to visit and notice that you don't meet on the last week of term and therefore not miss visiting!!
That is down to having time to do the job and the right personality and that is there (or not) whether you have recently qualified or did it years ago.
My mentor did not reply to my emails asking questions, I got all my help and advice from local leaders who were readily available to talk too and keen to help, but they cannot be a mentor as they are in the same district.
I like the idea that the book can be signed off by anyone, including the girls, and the girls thought that was great too!
 

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#34
A good mentor will answer emails and actually read the plan sent to her for her to decide which week to visit and notice that you don't meet on the last week of term and therefore not miss visiting!!
That is down to having time to do the job and the right personality and that is there (or not) whether you have recently qualified or did it years ago.
My mentor did not reply to my emails asking questions, I got all my help and advice from local leaders who were readily available to talk too and keen to help, but they cannot be a mentor as they are in the same district.
I like the idea that the book can be signed off by anyone, including the girls, and the girls thought that was great too!
Someone in the same District can be mentor, indeed it's the norm.
 

partygirl

Veteran (100+ posts)
#35
A good mentor will answer emails and actually read the plan sent to her for her to decide which week to visit and notice that you don't meet on the last week of term and therefore not miss visiting!!
To be fair, that is a specific problem with your particular mentor, not about the system as a whole. Of course, being a good mentor is down to having enough time etc but we have to remember that they are volunteers, just like the rest of us. Are you a mentor now caroline68?
 

turnip

Veteran (100+ posts)
#36
I barely spoke to my mentor, she was very nice and helpful when I did, but as I was lucky to be part of a very experienced leadership team there wasn’t much that I needed to ask her that I couldn’t ask the leaders I was with.

I think mentors are more valuable when you have a new leader or several new leaders taking over a unit without experienced leaders working alongside them.

I wasn’t the most proactive at doing my ALQ though. I didn’t have the urgency of needing to get it, since I was working with qualified leaders. I also lacked (and still lack) confidence and was reluctant to have something saying I was qualified when I still felt like I was painfully inexperienced. The only things that have helped with that are time, practice, and occasionally being forced to do things on my own. That’s more a personality thing than an ALQ issue though
 

Hilary

Guide Guider and District Commissioner
GuiderPlus
#37
Can you clarify ALQ please? Is this the 1-3 part of the leader qualification without the part 4 accounts?
Therefore is the whole leader qualification changing?
She means the LQ. There is no ALQ but people use the expression to distinguish "adult" LQ from the YLQ.
 

caroline68

Regular (50+ posts)
#39
To be fair, that is a specific problem with your particular mentor, not about the system as a whole. Of course, being a good mentor is down to having enough time etc but we have to remember that they are volunteers, just like the rest of us. Are you a mentor now caroline68?
I have been asked to be, and indeed it is something I would like in the future, but at present it does not fit in with my family life. I feel it is important to be honest rather than take on a role I would not be able to fulfill