Supporting Lodges

 The Provincial Mentor will also act as a confidant to Mentoring Coorindators and Mentors working within the Lodge system. There will be an ongoing requirement for him to provide comfort and reassurance during times of uncertainty and even disillusionment, by:

  • simply being available for a chat, either face-to-face, or on the telephone. Whilst this appears relatively simple, the Provincial Mentor must nevertheless be aware of the skills necessary when engaging in pdficon small Active Listening;
  • smiling, encouraging, being optimistic about development programmes or processes being undertaken;
  • helping Lodge Mentors feel good about what they have already achieved;
  • helping Lodge Mentors keep to deadlines and schedules, so that Monitoring and Evaluation information is prepared and submitted in a timely manner;
  • helping Lodge Mentors with any of their work that has 'stopped them in their tracks', albeit temporarily;
  • helping Lodge Mentors plan their work, e.g. providing proformas, booklets or specimen handouts as identified under Mentoring Aids or from any other source;
  • giving Lodge Mentors informal feedback on work they do, as they develop their teaching or research. Feedback from other Mentors provides a useful 'first reaction' to Lodge Mentors' work;
  • asking simply 'how is it going?'. The fact that someone will ask this is a powerful motivator; Lodge Mentors do not want to have to reply 'well, nothing much is happening at present';
  • helping Lodge Mentors to get the most out of feedback and advice from other brethren and to spread good ideas;
  • helping Mentors maintain their motivation when they are experiencing difficulty with a particular Candidate. This should not be surprising and, indeed, may highlight a difficult part of their own development. The Provincial Mentor can gently remind the Mentor of the value of the final goals, and explain that whilst tough parts are only to be expected, 'a problem is only a problem until you know how to solve it', and so on;
  • cultivating Lodge Mentors' feelings, e.g. "go on - you can do it", "you're not on your own", 'there's someone rooting for you' etc;
  • being in a position where they "know someone who can", when they feel unable to offer direct help themselves.