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Brenda Etchells

Brenda Etchells

ABM Chair - North

"I am honoured to take on the role of Regional Chair for the North of England. I am extremely passionate about promoting our profession to a wider audience and increasing the understanding of the value of business mentoring to both SMEs and larger corporates.  I look forward to getting to know the mentors in our area and building a strong community where we can all continue to grow together."

After a 30 year career in financial services, I set up my own business to support fellow business owners start, grow and run a business.  With a background across many disciplines, including marketing, product development, research and strategic planning I bring a breadth and depth of experience to my clients.

Initially my own business, Carduus Ltd, was set up as a consultancy but I soon realised that, for me, what excited me was supporting the business owners to face into the challenges with confidence, clarity and focus.   It was about the person - regardless of title or seniority,  there is a person behind that title who really values having a safe space with someone who listens to them with empathy and no judgement.   I 100% believe in the mantra "listen to understand, not to respond" and believe this approach is behind every successful mentor.

I was introduced to the ABM 4 years ago by Gary King, now one of the ABM's Directors.  At the time I had not realised that what I was doing was in fact business mentoring! Through taking an active part in ABM activities such as regional gatherings, mentor motivation sessions and words of wisdom I developed my confidence as a professional mentor.  I decided to cement this in 2022 by studying for my ILM7 Certificate in Executive and Senior Level Coaching and Mentoring.      

The ABM's involvement in the Help to Grow scheme provided further opportunity to do more to raise the standards of mentoring in the UK.  I have assisted the ABM through interviewing potential mentors and running peer group sessions for those mentors active in the scheme.  

To date I have mentored over 60 clients across a wide variety of industries and covering a range of roles.  I am a fan of Ann Rolfe's work and in particular her wheel of mentoring roles.  As mentors we are in a privileged position to be able to be our client's confidante, sounding board,  change catalyst, guide and role model.  Ongoing professional development, and regular supervision sessions, are important to me to make sure I continue to be the best mentor I can be for my clients.

Finally, I am a firm believer that business is a part of life, not your whole life. When not mentoring I enjoy working out at the gym in a spin or body pump class, spending time with my family (including a mad dog and a fat cat), or enjoying a glass of prosecco with friends.

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