In the Spotlight: Horizon Mentor Diane Eaton

Diane Eaton has been a corporate member of CMI for just over  a year. She took part in the pilot Horizon Mentoring programme which held its first induction event in October 2011. Here she tells us a little about herself and how she honed her skills which are now being put to good use to mentor others.

Why were you interested in the Horizon mentoring programme?

"The Horizon programme is an exciting opportunity for me to support others in setting and achieving their goals. The programme will encourage reflection and evaluation on the positive outcomes of a mentoring experience."

What was your first management role?

"My first management role came about via a promotion which I was determined to achieve. Like many women today, I was juggling full time work, running a home and managing a young family- effective organisational and time management skills were called upon or in other words, survival instincts came into play! With no formal management experience or training, my management skills were honed mainly by common sense and gut instinct and when I finally got the opportunity to work towards professional management training qualifications, I was relieved to know that I was on the right track when managing my team. There were good times and some very challenging times primarily due to the culture and hierarchy of the organisation.

My goals were initially to ensure the job got done, however as I grew in my role, I realised how important it is for a manager to build a rapport with each team member and identify and acknowledge individual skills sets and how to ensure staff need to remain motivated - giving them opportunities to grow and develop in the workplace.

Early on in my management role, I had to physically intervene to prevent two of my team members from coming to blows. Interestingly, the characters presented as 'passive, non -confrontational' individuals, however, under previous management, they had become increasingly frustrated with the lack of support and acknowledgement of their wealth of technical expertise and desire to progress. In order to diffuse the situation and recognising that both of these people were valuable teams members, I decided to offer them both the chance to shadow me in my role for the purpose of becoming acting managers in my absence. They grasped the opportunities and I was delighted to know that I had contributed to their development and subsequent career progression when they both achieved manager status thereafter."

What career to you have now and what do you enjoy about it?

"I currently have two roles. I work as a Business and Management training consultant delivering a range of accredited programmed in addition to subject specific short courses. With my other hat on, I consult as a Project Development Manager to an independent health care organisation. The scope of both these roles is demanding, challenging and very stimulating."

What value do you feel your membership brings you?

"As a Business and Management training consultant delivering and assessing accredited NVQ qualifications being a member of CMI and WIM means I have access to a wealth of resources, guidance and am supported by a respected awarding body which promotes development and expertise across all areas of business management."

The Horizon mentoring programme is a fantastic and rewarding way to help others using the valuable skills you have. Find more information on becoming a mentor today.

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