Strictly Come….Mentoring?

Posted on November 11, 2014 by

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Fanfare please!! Today we have reached our 40,000 blog view here on The UP Blog and what a blast it has been writing for all our readers!

Knowing we were soon reaching the big ’40’, we’ve been thinking about other great 40’s….more specifically the ‘Perfect 40’…the top judges’ score on Strictly Come Dancing (and which has yet to be awarded this year so far).

It got us round to thinking about achievements, success, dancing and mentoring….


Disco BallDespite having watched it for years now, I’m never quite sure why I like Strictly Come Dancing.

I don’t know the participating celebrities very well, I didn’t laugh at Bruce’s jokes (did anyone?!) I don’t like Tess Daly and, strangest of all, I don’t really have any interest in dancing.

Initially I put my interest down to a love of watching professional dancer Artem’s abs, which to my delight increasingly appeared on a near-weekly basis. But even when he didn’t appear in last year’s show, I continued to watch (although the introduction of Aljaž softened the blow).

Confused, and faced with investing yet more time in another series, I sought to figure out the show’s attraction.

And I think I’ve finally worked out why I like it – and possibly why this oddball show appeals to so many – we like seeing people learn from others, work hard, improve and ultimately, achieve success.

And success is why the pairing of the celebrities and professional dancers on Strictly is so important – celebrities need to be matched with the right dancing mentor to give them the best chance at improving.

Mentoring, whether it be on the dance floor or the office floor, is the process of passing on knowledge by a more experienced person to a less experienced one, through enabling a better understanding, providing guidance and support.

It’s not surprising then that mentoring only works well when the partnership between the mentor and ‘mentee’ is a good fit.

Thinking back to Strictly, it’s why the inevitable ‘celebrity dancing dunce’ in usually paired with professional Anton du Beke – someone with patience, humour and tolerance. Anton might well know that his partner won’t lift the Glitter Ball Trophy, but he will make sure they come away an improved dancer and having had a wonderful experience.

Perhaps it is also why those celebs who have a greater raw talent for dancing are paired with the professionals who are slightly more demanding, and so will ultimately push them to achieve their full potential.

Success in Mentorship is about finding the right relationship balance between Mentor and Mentee.

Whether it’s on a stand-alone basis, to supplement a training course or workshop, or forming an intrinsic part of a larger scale training and development programme, implementing a mentoring programme in the workplace can reap a vast range of benefits including:

  • Improved organisational performance
  • Increased profitability / sales / return on investment
  • Motivated and engaged staff
  • Less absenteeism
  • Better attraction & retention
  • Increased flexibility / ability to cope with change
  • More effective communication
  • Enhanced working relationships
  • More open and productive organisational culture

But to achieve all these benefits, the programme must be the right fit for your organisation – something that takes experience, effort and time to create.

At The Urquhart Partnership, we have helped clients of all shapes and sizes design and implement mentoring programmes, including successfully matching large numbers of well-suited mentoring pairs and working across multiple countries. In addition, we often mentor new start/growing businesses ourselves, so have first-hand mentoring experience too!

If it sounds like something your organisation would be interested in, why not give us a call to chat about how we can help you build and run the right mentoring programme, including:

  • Designing and developing the programme
  • Attracting, selecting and recruiting Mentors
  • Delivering training to managers and employees to ensure a successful roll out of a mentoring programme
  • Evaluating and reporting on the success of a programme

We look forward to catching up with you, but for now, remember to keep dancing!