This blog post was written in conjunction with Marisa Angellilo, InterCHANGE People Development Associate.
“What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” – Robert Schuller
Self-efficacy lies at the heart of Mosaic mentoring programmes. Along with confidence and employability, mentors aim to strengthen their mentees’ self-efficacy.
What exactly is self-efficacy and how can we go about making sure we keep it at the heart of our mentoring sessions?
Self-efficacy is the belief someone has in their own ability to achieve something. For example, someone with good self-efficacy will be reasonably willing to have a go at something new, knowing they will have a good chance of doing it well. Note the word ‘reasonably’. People with good self-efficacy also know and accept what they are not good at too. In the work place, these tasks are the ones we delegate or pass on to other team members.
Self-efficacy is a defining characteristic in successful people, particularly in self-made millionaires. The great news is – it can be learned!
So how do we go about improving self-efficacy? There are four main ways we can do this.
- Doing something well. Success breeds success and this in turn builds a robust belief in self-efficacy. Mentoring sessions give our young people a chance to shine.
- Providing people with successful role models they can identify with. Mentors act as role models and mentoring sessions provide a good opportunity to find and discuss the qualities of other successful role models too.
- Giving positive encouragement, and encouraging mentees to see and tell themselves what they are doing well. This builds self-reliance and trust in their own ability and helps prevent mentees becoming over dependent on other people’s opinion. There should be plenty of opportunities for mentees to be encouraged in a typical mentoring session. E.g. After doing an exercise, giving a presentation, speaking out in the session, each mentee could take it in turns to ask each other:
- What did you do well?
- What skills did you use and what happened when you used them?
- Reducing stress reactions to new situations. Mentees need to be shown that nerves and anxiety are an energising influence rather than a debilitating one. Contestants on TV shows (e.g. ‘The Voice’ or ‘X Factor’) are good role models for this. Overcoming nerves and having a go, very often results in success.
Do you have any ideas on how we can promote self-efficacy? Please share your ideas with us by commenting below; we would love to hear from you.
Mosaic is working in partnership with Karen Tidsall and her team from InterCHANGE People Development to deliver mentor training. Find out more at www.interchangepd.com, @interchangepd or call 020 7281 1700.