Monday, March 19, 2012


Thanks for stopping by, hope you found the last post useful.  We will continue with the series on Mentoring.  The most come back I received based on the last post, was from people who had been in some mentoring relationship or the other but are unable to say that the relationship has benefitted them much.

Mentoring like every other endeavour requires some framework to be effective.  The mentoring relationship is one for which we have the need to set scope, parameters and boundaries if it will yield expected results for the participants.

Most of those who came back to me on the mentoring relationships were people who worked in organisations where Mentoring has been adopted as a culture and therefore Managers are assigned Mentees to guide and help achieve success.  Now because the relationship is already, as it were, forced, there is the tendency that the individuals may not have chemistry, and that can impede rather than enhance what they set out to achieve.  The Mentee should always seek the Mentor out.  It is the Protégée who needs something so he should be the one asking for the help and the one driving the process. Once a third party is involved, it becomes a doctored relationship and may not yield much.

Two weeks ago, a young woman made an appointment to see me and she was asking me to mentor her concerning her preferred profession and dream.  We spent quite some time just talking. I asked her about herself because I was trying to determine if we had chemistry at all.  I also gave her the opportunity to ask me questions so she could also learn about me, just to be sure that I was what she was looking for.

By the end of two hours I was sufficiently convinced that we could move on to the next step.  Now I need you to pay attention to these steps.  I asked her to do three things.

1.  Do me a short write up on where she sees herself in the next ten years.  I wanted to know her dreams, aspirations and her goals.  This was to help me determine if she had clarity for where she wanted to go, and how I might be able to guide her.

2.  I asked her to do me a list of the qualities she was looking for in a Mentor.  This was to help think through what she was looking for and to also give her the opportunity to determine if I was the person she wanted.  I told her that if she handed in this list and I didn't feel as though I qualified or thought I knew someone more qualified to guide her, I was going to help her make the appointment.

3.  The last thing I asked her to do was to also do a short write upon what value she was going to add to me while I mentored her.  The reason this point made it into my requirements is simple.  I had been in Mentoring Relationships in the past either as a Mentor or Mentee, where I didn't feel any fulfillment neither did the other party receive any.  With benefit of hindsight, I find that the reason the Mentor tires of a mentoring relationship is because it was more parasitic than it was symbiotic.  This relationship lasts more and is a lot more effective, when both parties know that they will gain something.

Remember that as the Mentee you drive the process, so even when your Mentor has not taken care to insist on a framework, do your best to suggest one.  Always remember to let them know what value you can add to their work and use that as the launch pad for setting up a workable framework.

Don't forget that living a dream isn't so much about the dreaming as it is about the living.  Action is what makes a dream reality, so this week do something that will bring you closer to your life dream or goal.

Before I go, here is a shout out to Mothers all over; there are no Mentors like you anywhere. Thank you for your love, sacrifice and guidance, God bless and reward you greatly.

Stick to the process and you will make it NevertheLess.  I promise, you will make it.

                                                Click here for the audio version of this post.

Sistar B

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