I like to keep things simple.
So, every now and then, I take a topic and feed to my “Simplification Engine” and see what comes out as output.
This time, the topic I chose was mentoring.
I have had mentors for more than two decades. I am so blessed for every gift that my mentors bestowed me to shape me to be who I am today.
I have been serving as a mentor to many smart individuals for over a decade.
In other words, I am wearing both the hats (mentor and a mentee) so I reasonably understand what happens on either end.
So, the work for the “Simplification Engine” should have been very light.
Unfortunately, it was not.
In general, to make things complex is simple and vice versa.
I talked to a dozen of my friends to answer two simple questions:
a) What does a mentor do?
b) What does the mentoring process look like?
The answers, as you might have guessed were all over the map.
The “Simplification Engine” was on overdrive mode.
After going through all the answers and reflecting on the topic for a few days, here are the answers to the above two questions. While this is a work in progress, I am happy to share what I have got so far.
What does a mentor do?
A mentor is a transformation catalyst to take you from “who you are today” to a better version of “who you are tomorrow”
On your own, you would have seen a step up in your capacity tomorrow. A mentor gives a boost to that step up.
Note: A mentor gives you the necessary support, but never acts as a crutch for you.
What does the mentoring process look like?
In general, a mentor does four things:
1. Listens with Empathy
A mentor can first get into your shoes and see the world from your vantage point. He or she understands your gifts, assets (knowledge, network and experiences) and talents. Your mentor also understands what may be going against you – for example, your attitude. Or, your blindspots.
2. Observes with Care
When a mentor is observing you, the intent is NOT to judge you, but to care for you. Your actions reveal your choices. Your choices reveal your thinking. Your thinking reveals your worldviews. By observing your actions, your mentor can understand you better.
If you want find your enemies, the best place to start your quest is by looking at a mirror.
A mentor will nudge you to do just that.
3. Increases your Velocity
Not speed, mind you.
Speed has no real sense of direction.
A mentor is interested in acceleration with the right direction and hence the term velocity.
4. Expands your Possibilities
A mentor expands your thinking horizon and that automatically expands the world of possibilities for you.
The keyword is L.O.V.E.
Can you see a pattern developing by observing the four areas where a mentor operates?
The keyword as you can see is L.O.V.E.
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