I was just in a discussion today about mentoring. What exactly does this mean and why is it important for leaders 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. I love this quote from the book, “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.”To practice mentoring, just remember the MENTOR acronym:
Motivation – discover the motivation in yourself and your mentee.Exploration – encourage exploration of different perspectives, options, and opportunities.Notice – pay attention to the feelings in both parties and explore their presence.Talk – advise 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.
Recognizing the important distinction of when to lead, when to walk side-by-side, and when to follow…and knowing the difference …is wisdom.What are the elements of mentorship that resonate with you?I would love to hear from you. Who was your most significant mentor and why?With love,Maria