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Nov 29

Why Become A Mentor?

Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2012 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

As I was approaching fifty years old I sought the wisdom of my elders. I sought out men and women older than I was to learn lessons on life that they had been learning.

Last Monday I began a series entitled A Treasure Chest Of Wisdom, including:

1. Don’t Hold Grudges
2. Take Care Of Your Health.
3. Compassion Makes Sense and Giving Is Better Than Taking
4. Greed Gains Momentum

5. Gratitude Leads To Contentment
6. Contentment Leads To Generosity
7. Everyone Splashes. Splash Blessings.
8. Find A Mentor

“Why did you decide to become a mentor?”

I want to offer a relationship that feels safe.
I wanted positively influence someone’s life.
I wanted a way to invest in someone.

I wanted to take my eyes off of myself.
I believe mentoring will benefit both of us.
I think everyone needs a compassionate listener.

I want to provide authentic and genuine relationships.
I want to give away what someone gave me.
I want to offer a no-judgment relationship.

I wanted to develop a more emotionally and spiritually intimate relationships.
I appreciate my mentor and I want to offer what I was offered.
I believe that we were made to be interdependent.

One mentor defined his mentoring as, “A relational experience through which one person empowers another by sharing God-given resources.” And, another added, “I want to represent Jesus Christ in someone’s life.”

What should I consider before becoming a mentor?

Note: The photos at the right are of older adults.  One mentor explained, “Often the best mentors are those one life stage ahead of the person beneath them.”

Perhaps someone has asked you to become a mentor. Or, the idea could come from you. Before you agree to a mentoring relationship, consider your chances of success.

1.  Assess yourself

Who do you want to become?
How are you being intentional about becoming that kind of person?
What can you teach someone else about how you dealt with the obstacles?
And, how you coped with your failures?
And, how you accomplished your goals?

2.  Assess your communication style

A – Do you ask questions and listen for others’ answers?
B – Or, do you just wait for your turn to talk?
C – Or, do you interrupt with solutions before someone has finished explaining?

If your answer is A, perhaps the time is right.
If your answer is B, perhaps it will help to assess your motives.
If your answer is C, wait.  Get some coaching first.

3. Assess your readiness to help people

A – Do you like to listen to others when they are vulnerable?
B – Do you tell people what to do rather than asking questions to help people to discover their own answers?
C – Do you believe it’s not appropriate to give advice, or that there’s only one way to handle a situation?

If your answer is A, perhaps the time is right.
If your answer is B, perhaps it will help to assess your motives.
If your answer is C, wait.  Get some coaching first.

In summary, mentoring, like parenting, typically use one of three styles:
1. Mutual Respect — gives choices
2. Permissive — gives in
3. Autocratic — gives orders

Final considerations

Do you feel annoyed when you have to go over an issue again and again?
Wait. Get some coaching first.
Do you feel angry or betrayed when someone you believed in “lets you down”?
Wait. Get some coaching first.

More tomorrow.

Bring on the comments

  1. […] 1. Don’t Hold Grudges 2. Take Care Of Your Health. 3. Compassion Makes Sense and Giving Is Better Than Taking 4. Greed Gains Momentum 5. Gratitude Leads To Contentment 6. Contentment Leads To Generosity 7. Everyone Splashes. Splash Blessings. 8. Find A Mentor 9. Why Become A Mentor? […]

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