One of the most exciting moves in the game of baseball occurs when the slugger steals a base, then two, then three, then slides home!
In some ways, the dividends of being a mentor are a bit like stealing all the bases. Here’s what one seasoned mentor wrote:
—–“I get to re-teach myself important lessons from my experience, as I prepare to support my mentee.
—–My only mission is to help my mentee become more able, so I concentrate on listening, clarifying, probing and challenging. That carries over into all my relationships and helps ME be a better person and more interesting to be around.
—–Mentoring forces me to re-open my mind to a wider range of alternatives and ways of thinking. I become more creative and thoughtful, and that rubs off on my own habits, judgments and decision-making.
—–Working with mentees from different circumstances helps me look at t hings I might otherwise ignore or never face. I’ve had mentees who are younger, older, of a different gender, culture and race than myself. They have gifted me with a spectrum of views, values, norms and ways of thinking that i can now celebrate.”
WOW! That’s like stealing ALL the bases….in the game of life…and winning the inning!
Trust is a big word–and includes answers to these four questions:
—Do I trust the information?
—Do I trust the judgement?
—Do I trust the commitment to follow through?
—Do I trust the intentions TOWARD ME?
Sometimes the answers to these questions actually result in lowered trust levels–and breakdown in mid-journey.
No matter how hard we work at building and maintaining trust, situations arise that can cause “potholes” of damage.
Trust is a two-way street, so these repair suggestions work for both Mentors and Mentees along the high-way
of this unique relationship called mentoring:
—When trust is damaged, be ready to work really hard to get it back.
—Take the first step by deciding to let the past go–for the sake of the relationship.
—Be honest about your own contribution to the problem, even it it’s embarrassing.
—Work together to establish realistic goals around renewed commitment.
Trust always has to be maintained; it takes both partners to keep it as a vital causeway in human endeavor.
Double loop learning is moving beyond simple problem-solving to examine patterns of behavior, trends and root causes of issues.
It means being aware of how one’s own behavior impacts end experiences.
In the best learning partnerships, mentors help mentees examine how their own actions, habits and thoughts can contribute to the problems at hand or get in the way of desired results.
In good mentoring relationships, mentees aren’t being evaluated or judged–and that’s a key reason why focusing on double loop learning is much easier with a mentor then with a manager.
But mentees have to have the courage and strength to look at how their own actions may contribute to their own problems.
Capturing learning through self-reflection is a trait typical of successful people. In order to learn from one’s experiences at the deepest level, a person’s got to be able to look at how he or she contributes to results in an objective and open manner–and resolve to grow forward.