Lifting The Lid On XFE Mentoring And Knowledge Exchange - X-Forces Enterprise
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Lifting The Lid On XFE Mentoring And Knowledge Exchange

Due to popular demand, we are lifting the lid on our mentoring provision and bespoke IT platform, the X-Forces Enterprise Knowledge Exchange Hub.

Over the last few years, we have created a peer-to-peer community and helped thousands of members of the Armed Forces family to develop and grow.

Here are some numbers:

  • XFE has supported over 10,000 individuals
  • We have delivered over 42,800 hours of training
  • Our Knowledge Exchange Hub has over 3,000 members


We kick off with an introduction entitled Mentoring: Trust And Rapport In Action. Read on…

Mentoring lies at the very heart of the X-Forces Enterprise model for supporting entrepreneurial ambition among members of the Armed Forces community, powered by our unique Knowledge Exchange Hub. But how exactly does mentoring work?

According to the University of Southampton, mentoring involves helping individuals to develop their career, skills and expertise, often drawing upon the mentor’s own experiences in the process.

Mentoring is very different from managing or coaching, and it is important to know what the key skills and behaviours of a good mentor are before getting started.

For mentoring to be successful, there must be trust and rapport between mentor and mentee. To establish this from the outset, it is a good idea to hold an informal introductory meeting to share expectations for the mentoring relationship. It is important to define the mentee’s objectives, as this will help identify the aspects of the mentor’s experience that will be most relevant, as well as clarifying the content of the sessions that follow.

The success of a mentoring conversation depends on the quality, not the quantity of the questions asked, which should prompt the mentee to engage in some genuine self-reflection and achieve greater insight into the situations and challenges they are facing.

The mentor may need to provide feedback from time to time. This might be because they notice a certain type of behaviour that is affecting the mentee’s ability to achieve his or her objectives or because they feel the mentee should have approached a situation or challenge in a different way. This feedback should be provided positively and constructively.

However, mentoring is not merely about telling a mentee all about past experiences and expecting them to repeat these. Instead, it should be done in a way that will help to guide the mentee towards identifying their own solutions. The mentee should do the majority of the talking in sessions, and discussions should always be driven by the mentee’s needs and objectives.

Another way in which mentors can support mentees is by introducing them to others in their network, especially if the mentee is seeking support in a specific area out with the mentor’s core experience. To ensure this conversation is as productive as possible, the mentor can prepare the mentee ahead of time, support them to create a list of objectives, and encourage them to share the outcome of the meeting in the next mentoring session.

For new mentors, it is important to use resources that can help develop communication skills and the ability to help the mentee engage in self-reflection. One such resource is the model of reflective space, which maps out the stages a mentee must go through to achieve greater insight into the situations they face and the solutions available.

Experienced mentors, on the other hand, might find it helpful to engage with some of the more complex academic work that is being conducted into mentoring. Industry journals and credible websites and blogs can be good sources of this type of information.

The X-Forces Enterprise Knowledge Exchange Hub is free to join and provides members with access to a wealth of information, as well as the opportunity to connect with Business Captains – experienced businesspeople offering their services as mentors. Check out the Hub at

X-Forces Enterprise Founder, Ren Kapur MBE, commented: “Each Wednesday from today until the end of the year, we will be sharing snippets about mentoring. We will look at our mentees’ journeys, our corporate partners who volunteer their time, best practices, and call on new mentors and mentees to get involved. So, for the remaining 18 weeks of 2023 we’ll have a weekly focus on mentoring!”

Why now? With the last quarter of the yearly calendar looming and plans for 2024 being drawn up, let’s all get involved ahead of International Mentoring Day on 27th October. There’s nothing like planning ahead.

Keep an eye on our website and social channels and get involved in our weekly mentoring spots – please do share your experiences and join the conversation. You never know who might be able to help.




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