MENTORS HAVE TO BE LEARNERS, TOO
A little reflection about whether you are a KNOWER or LEARNER can make the all the difference in the world to successful mentoring partnerships. KNOWERS, as defined here, are those pretty much done with growth. But mentoring is about forming and sustaining learning partnerships. Learning opens minds; knowing closes them.
A mentee who’s working with a KNOWER can easily start to think, “If my mentor isn’t committed to learning and open to change, then why should I value any advice from this source about new approaches, risk-taking, or new ways of thinking?”
Here are some characteristics of being in the Learning Mode from Lee Thayer’s book, Leadership: Thinking, Being, Doing.
Thayer is the author who says that conventional thinking routinely leads to conventional results. Sometimes conventional results are exactly what’s desired–but very often, something better, less costly, faster, higher quality, greater benefit, larger presence, greater return–something NOT in the previous norm, is what is being sought-after.
So spend a few moments and ask yourself as a mentor if you are:
—-being open to contrary ideas or beliefs
—-asking rather than telling
—-growing rather than withering
—-assuming familiar patterns
—-and retreating from high value change.