Part 2: Mentoring, at its best, is like interviewing
This is a 3-part post; you can find Part 1 here & 3 will follow tomorrow
Like all meaningful relationships, a lot goes into developing a strong mentoring relationship. While much of it can be organic, there are ways to be intentional and make the most of it. This 3-part series aims to shift and simplify the way you, as either mentor or mentee, think about mentoring. The first part is to treat the relationship as you would an interview, but we’ll limit the value of the relationship if we only take a formal view of mentoring; mentoring is like coaching in the need for there to be training, encouragement and accountability.
Training: A coach’s ultimate goal with a player is to help them improve, and that focus on improvement is just as important in worthwhile mentoring. If you’re not being intentional in using that time to learn and improve (yourself or your mentee) then its not mentoring, its “hanging out”.
Encouragement: You’re likely action and outcome oriented, which usually is accompanied with being your toughest critic. When the road to winning becomes bumpy and your trophy still feels a long way off, it’s common to become discouraged. This is where you may need a good mentor most, to remind you that they’re speed bumps, not mountains.
Accountability: Rarely, if ever, has a great coach been primarily described as being “nice”. That is because they’re willing to be tough when necessary to keep players accountable for doing what they need to do to improve. Set goals in your time together, and if you’re not following through on them, a good mentor will hold you accountable.
If you’re committing to building a mentoring relationship that has lasting impact, think about approaching mentoring as if you were a coach. Be intentional in training through the time together, share encouragement when the journey becomes difficult, and hold each other accountable to following through on the growth goals you set together.
Re-frame the idea of mentoring – one of the best ways to better gain from mentoring, is to give mentoring. Here are a couple good options outside of your office/church/etc:
-Mentor a veteran or find a mentor with Veterati
-Become a Big Brother or Big Sister