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How does the matching process work?
Matching is done during the initial workshop through confidential self selection. We ask all participants to select a number of people with whom they think they could work and pass these names to us. We then enter these into our matching grid and feed back the outcomes. Not everyone can be matched according to their own choice. Matching is a two way initiative and often someone you have picked may not have picked you. We endeavour to put full matches together first, then half matches and those who have not specified.

What happens if there is an odd number on the Matching Workshop?
We try to ensure that we have even numbers on all workshops, but if a registered participant cannot make it on the day they will be offered for selection. Their biography will be read out by us and circulated. If someone is matched with this person, we will facilitate a separate meeting with the pair and work through coaching exercises to start the relationship off. We have also had very successful 3 way coaching partnerships. This will be offered as an alternative on the day.

What happens if my Coaching Partner pulls out of the programme?
Occasionally we have lost participants due to ill health, maternity leave, moving jobs or, on one occasion, moving continents! If a partnership comes to an end before the midterm workshop we must be informed if the remaining party wishes to continue on the programme. We will then either re-match the individual or invite them on the next programme free of charge.

Can I match with someone from a different sector?
Yes, but we cannot guarantee cross-sector matching. We do our best to attract an equal number of organisations and individuals across the sectors but sometimes we are heavier in one area than another. Once we have four organisations involved in a programme, we will run it.

What is the benefit of matching with someone from my own sector?
The programmes success is down to the matching of individuals from different organisations. Often people from one sector see other sectors as having advantages and benefits not afforded to their own but in our experience we have learned that the issues facing individuals are the same across the sectors. Sometimes matching with someone from within your own sector can have just as many benefits.

What is the benefit of joining a diversity strand focussed programme?
Women, BAME people and LGBT people are still very much under represented at top levels in business. Whether this is because of discrimination, unconscious bias or personally perceived bias getting in the way of progression, the statistics are there. We have found that running diversity specific programmes allows people from similar backgrounds, facing similar issues gives them a head start in tackling the issue of progression and confidence building.

What do I do if I feel my manager is getting in the way of my progression?
We encourage you to involve your line manager in sharing your goals and objective setting where possible but for most of the programme you have total freedom and confidentiality to discuss issues facing you with your coaching partner in order to find ways through them. Having an independent peer from another organisation, with whom to share and plan progression strategy, gives new meaning to the old adage “two heads are better than one”.

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