Christine Giscombe – A Mentor’s Perspective

8 min read

An emotional intelligence business coach who explores the dynamics of the Mother and Daughter relationship; how this relationship impacts, influences or affects the way we show up in the world.
Christine Giscombe, Administration

Christine Giscombe is the Director of Finance & Administration at a leading set of barristers' chambers. She is a self‑professed ‘encourager’ from a young age and has been mentoring young women and women in business for over 15 years.

In the past, she has set up a mentoring programme, partnering with a CPS lawyer for undergraduates at Greenwich University. She is an advisory board member of the Branson’s Centre of Entrepreneurship in the Caribbean. She joined the Santander Breakthrough Women Business Leaders' Mentoring Programme in 2021.

Mentoring runs through me, and when your passion is aligned with your purpose you will find always find space for it. I was excited to join the Santander programme – and my experience over the past nine months has been amazing.

Mindset is so important to be able to drive a healthy business.

Christine Giscombe

Initially, my only reservation was whether my personality was going to match my mentee’s. I am a certified emotional intelligence mentor, I am aware if personalities do not match well, it can be challenging to drive the mentee to where she needs to go. People are individuals and it takes a little while for you to assess the situation or circumstance before you can understand where your input can be the most valuable. I could not capture my mentee’s vision when we first met and I was tussling with the notion, am I the right mentor and where do I sit and fit in this new relationship?

On our third meeting, I asked my mentee what made her apply to the programme? Her response was, she applied because she lacked confidence. As soon as I heard those words, I instinctively knew where I would sit and fit as her mentor. Business mentoring is not always about the business and setting achievable goals, it is also about the business mindset. It is so important to have a healthy mindset in order to be able to drive a healthy business. Are you in a place where your vision for your business is something that excites you? Are you going to be able to take on constructive criticism to guide you on the right path.

When your passion is aligned with your purpose you will find always find space for it.

Christine Giscombe

The most meaningful part of my mentoring experience so far has been being able to support my mentee practically and provide an emotional safe space for her to share with honesty where and how she saw her business journey developing. She was going through some personal challenges that were impacting her business at the time. As a mentor, you can often get to the heart of a person or the challenge if there is no judgement; a mentor is there to listen and to provide a safe space for your mentee to be heard regardless of their challenges. A mentor needs that voice of wisdom to know when to give instruction, when to pause, reflect and reset.

After a time of reflection, my mentee decided she needed to pause her business journey and it was very important for her to understand that this decision was not to be deemed a failure, but to provide valuable life and business lessons to take with her into her future and to assist her in making future business decisions.

A Mentor’s Perspective

The Santander mentoring experience has had benefits for me too. It has increased my confidence in what I do; how I share and how I listen. It has caused me to venture out of my comfort zone and forge relationships that have helped me as a mentor and a business leader. As a founder of a business myself, the Santander experience has been amazing in the support offered to mentors with the Santander peer to peer network, inclusive financial and business programmes of which I as a mentor was grateful to be part of. I found this platform provided me with a space to share with other business mentors our business development journeys. As mentors we sometimes think we’re stepping into a programme to help others, not realising that Santander is there to support mentors too. I really benefitted from this opportunity which enabled me to view my business through different lenses and apply different perspectives.

I am very proud of my journey and I am passionate about sharing the knowledge and experience I have had with other mentors and mentees in joining the Santander programme; helping mentees achieve and succeed in their vision one step at a time as a mentor. When I was a child I was told ‘self-praise is no recommendation’ even today I am still challenged by putting myself out there and say, ‘look at me!’. I have learned we need to shine in our brilliance, and not to be afraid to share our challenges and our success. You don’t know who you’re empowering or encouraging when you stand up and say, ‘this is who I am, this is where I was, this is where I am now and this is my journey’.

Case studies

DramEd – a mentoring partnership story

DramEd is a creative education company, supporting schools and nurseries to make performing arts accessible and fun.