Why all young people should have a coach or mentor

Could mentors help young people overcome their problems?

Could mentors help young people overcome their problems?

Recent UK government policy suggests that all young people should have a mentor to help with their personal and professional development. Lesley Strachan from Lesley Strachan Consulting and Training explains how mentoring could help.

“Everyone needs a coach”. Some of the most successful people in the world have a coach including Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt and Tony Robbins. However, thinking back to our school days, we were taught various subjects, given a bit of guidance about what career we should follow and that’s about it. There weren’t, and still aren’t, any excellent coaching programmes in schools unless you’re an athlete. 

Furthermore, with recent UK government policy suggesting that all young people should have a mentor, it’s difficult to see how this would work in practical terms. This situation continues to be of concern since the education sector continues to cut budgets, careers services and head teachers are consistently trying to do more with less budget and resources.

If more young people were able to access this kind of coaching it may enable the country to be more productive if we all loved our lives and our jobs?

However, recognising those constraints - during my long teaching career I’ve rarely seen the education system tap into the root passions that we are all born with. Imagine a curriculum that included young people exploring how to be more responsible, find their personal values and create a vision board of their future. Recent workshops I’ve run with young people has enabled them to make choices about their behaviour, subjects they choose to study and career paths they want to follow. If more young people were able to access this kind of coaching it may enable the country to be more productive if we all loved our lives and our jobs? Maybe it’s something we should all aspire to help with our own mental health and the mental health of our teenagers?

I’ve been working with hundreds of young people over the past fifteen years, and before I got started writing my latest book I wanted to find out what parents and guardians worried about the most as they brought up their young people. So, I asked over 2,000 parents “What are the things that worry you about your child’s future?” The responses fell into several categories: 

Lesley Strachan explains how to help your kids become self-confident and happy

Lesley Strachan explains how to help your kids become self-confident and happy

  • Finance – Financial independence, financial self-sufficiency, to be prosperous and be able to choose what to do. 

  • Job or career – To know what job or career path to follow. 

  • Free time – Rediscover the things we did in our free time but have stopped because of other pressures on our time. 

  • Physical health – Eating healthily, drug addiction, tackling obesity, getting my kids to eat vegetables. 

  • Relationships – Wisdom in their relationships, marrying poorly, not being a good enough parent. 

  • Personal life – Self-confidence, to be happy amongst the chaos in the world, to improve low self-esteem and belief in themselves. To be passionate about what they do, to be happy, self-reliant, loving, mindful and worldly. To be able to fail and learn from the mistakes made. To stop being fearful and lazy. 

  • Community – Climate change, increasing inequality, global corporate dominance, loss of public services, education system, war, education funding, social media pressures.

All this feedback led to the book and an online course written to help parents, teenagers and career advisers which is called “The Ultimate Guide for Parents: How to help your kids become self-confident, happy and passionate” (links below).

The aim is for parents, carers and young people to work together simultaneously doing the exercises so that both of you learn, develop and grow. It’s a great opportunity to also find out more about each other and what makes you both tick. However, if you as a parent don’t know what you want from life you might want to work through the book first before coaching your young people. 

You may also be attracted to the book and the online course if you’re involved with young people as careers advisers in schools, colleges and universities. You can learn how to coach and mentor young people using techniques that really work and make a significant difference alongside the careers advice support on offer. What is helpful is for careers advisers to help young people work through these exercises before offering careers advice so that young people have the self-confidence and are happy and passionate about the choices they then make about their future.

What you’ll find in the book are the stable principles and tools to help you think and act differently if you choose to do so. In other words, they work… when you implement them. They don’t work if you just read about them without taking any action. They are based on the rock-solid strategies that we have been using with adults and young people for years. 

The book and all our workshops are rooted in Jack Canfield’s Success Principles methodology and is filled with simple exercises to complete, inspirational quotes and real stories from real people. I hope these will inspire and motivate you to act and make the changes you want to make.

Here’s a quote from one of my mentees who recently completed a 10-month programme at her secondary school. In the feedback she said “I understand where I fit into the world of work and what my values are which reflect me as a person. My vision board is a pictorial board which shows what I want to achieve in life. I think bigger than I used to and am looking for work experience in the Summer to help my CV”. 

Wouldn’t you like a similar situation for yourself or the young people in your life? Well you can, because you’ve already taken the first step by reading this article. So, what do you want from life?

I’m also setting up some 10-week workshops with my colleagues which will be offered to both young people aged 15+ and adults. 

The first one will be launching in Winchester, Hampshire in January 2018. So, if you’re interested in coming along or want us to hold workshops near where you live contact me today at lesley@lesleystrachan.co.uk.

Here's to the future of our young people.

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Lesley Strachan Consulting and Training
“Getting you from where you are to where you want to be”
Award winning Trainer| Author| Coach| Consultant
Tel: 07739 172447