both Mentors and Mentees struggle to balance working priorities and living priorities.
Necessary work-life balance can best be created through intentional responses to conflicting pressures.
Here are some discovery questions that apply to both Mentors and Mentees as they face this challenge:
—–What are your priorities at this stage of your life?
—–What is most stressful for you right now, regarding work/life balance?
—–What does ideal balance look like on your job? In your home life?
—–What is your significant other’s awareness regarding your job stress?
—–What are your boundaries regarding when work “wants” to intrude on your life?
—–What will be consequences if you do NOT achieve better work/life balance?
Is there any tangible evidence of mentoring success? Well, yes, there is.
It is possible to evaluate mentoring success using at least 3 basic measures:
PROFESSIONAL GROWTH: Is the mentee more competent? More able? More responsible for self-development?Becoming as good as can be and better than has been?
PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT: Does the mentee act with increased confidence, making decisions, charting a meaningful career direction?
Doe she or he take more ownership and become more pro-active? Does the mentee Deliver on initiatives with a sense of inner strength that is not over-inflated?
APPROPRIATE RISK-TAKING: Are communications authentic? Can mentor and mentee have honest exchanges about their partnership?
Can the mentee leave some comfort zones to experience breakthrough growth through learning and accomplishing in new arenas?
Measuring the mentoring process needs to be ON-GOING and has the goal of constant improvement at its core!
If you drive much at all, you’ve had the experience of hearing a siren wailing, seeing flashing lights, knowing you MUST pull over very soon to get out of the way of the police, fire or rescue vehicle.
Working in a mentoring relationship can be like that too.
You’ve been speeding along, making great progress and then, over time, you loose energy. You feel pulled over by the side of the road. You know you’re getting warning lights, but you have a bit of confusion. Your mentoring relationship may need life support and somehow you think YOU may be the problem.
One of the biggest obstacles to a successful mentoring relationship IS internal. Constant self-criticism can drain the blood right out of any potent relationship. “I can’t.” It’ll never work.” “It’s too challenging.” “I’m not ready.” “They won’t like it if I do that.” “I never do that very well.” “This could make me different than others.”
These are all wounding words, and they can cut to the core and halt progress. The best remedy is to drive straight forward and ask these questions to confront your inner loudmouth critic: “Am I really helpless?” “Do I actually NEED to escape this next challenge?” “Why?” “Is that really true?” “Do I remember my energy level when I began this?” “What motivated me then?” “Am I ambivalent now? Why?” What could I gain if I drive straight forward?” “What would I get that I don’t have now?”
Having some self-doubt is all too human. But if your roadblock is steady self-defeating chatter within, it’s time for first aid–give yourself aid, first. This applies to mentors AND mentees. Human development is a journey loaded with challenges and obstacles–but the rewards can be SO satisfying–for those who mentor intentionally and for those who apply themselves as mentees.