I was just in a discussion today about mentoring. What exactly does this mean and why is it important for leadership to have a mentorship mindset? Mentorship is about sharing wisdom, and wisdom is gained from knowledge and experience. One of my favorite books about mentorship is, Mentoring: The TAO of Giving and Receiving Wisdom by Chungliang Al Huang and Jerry Lynch. Any good teacher will tell you that we learn so much from our students. The same is true with mentoring, it is an exchange, a dance of sharing wisdom, knowledge, and experiences with the intention of growth – for both parties. Of course, like most concepts we discuss, mentoring begins with self-reflection, self-awareness, and self-love. As written by Al Huang and Lynch, “It may seem clever to know and accept others; yet accepting oneself is the way to Wisdom. It may feel powerful to overcome others; yet disciplining oneself is true strength. It may be noble to honor others; yet respecting oneself is deep self-esteem.” Motivation – discover the motivation in yourself and your mentee.
To practice mentoring, just remember MENTOR:
What are the elements of mentorship that resonate with you?
Exploration – encourage exploration of different perspectives, options, and opportunities.
Notice the feelings in both parties and explore their presence.
Talk less and listen more. Practice active listening and learn how to dance in the conversation.
Open – be open to learn from your mentee and the experience.
Respect – Always opt for respect without judgment.
Next time, we will explore coaching and how that differs from mentoring.
Motivation – discover the motivation in yourself and your mentee.