How To Multiply Value
You add value by yourself. You multiply value by mentoring.
I heard someone say, “When you mentor someone, you make them like yourself.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
Steven Spielberg wisely observed, “Mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.”
The easy part
Passing your skills to others is the easy part. For example, you can explain the importance of eye contact for public speakers. You can explain the three count rule. Effective eye contact isn’t quickly bouncing from person to person. Its establishing contact long enough to connect but not so long as to make others uncomfortable. The three-count is about right.
Telling people what to do is easy.
The first issue
Grow your influence by focusing on what they want to do, not what you want them to do.
The hard parts
Thinking big is the hard part. Great mentors provide ladders that lift others beyond their current self-perceptions and self-imposed limits. Thinking big may be the hardest part.
Furthermore, it’s easy to think you’re clear when you aren’t. If you can’t explain the end result in clear, measurable terms you aren’t clear yet. If you can’t explain the behaviors that lead to desired outcomes you won’t get there.
In addition, follow-up and follow-through are hard parts. Beginnings are necessary. However, it’s more difficult to finish than it is to begin. Beginnings are typically filled with hope and enthusiasm. Finishing takes persistence and endurance.
Timelines, incremental milestones, and accountability enable follow-up and follow-through.
What are the core mentoring skills?
What are the core mentoring challenges?
A core mentoring skill is trustworthiness. The one being mentored must have a trust relationship with the mentor. It’s the launching pad for everything else.
A mentoring challenge is co-dependency. The one being mentored must not slip into needing the mentor so much that personal growth is stunted.
Your experience is shining through. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.
I share your views leadershipfreak.
Coaching and mentoring are often mixed up as well or can be seen as interchangeable concepts. Would be interested to hear your thoughts on this.
My take is mentoring is more life based and coaching is more skills based.
What say ye?
Coaching and mentoring to me, have been both life changing experiences… I have a great coach right now, there’s a great fit, and his advice has been intrumental for me both professionally and personnally… so you could say at times he’s helping me in ways a mentor would do… but agree that a mentor, in the formal sense, helps you look “within”, “around”, and increases your “observation” skills. Keep up the good advice coach/mentor Dan !
I’m glad you stopped back to share your experiences. BTW, I have an accountability partner. He’s kind of a coach and kind of a mentor. cheers
Mentoring might be done by someone who has walked a similar path and wants to give back…life/work based as you noted.
Coaching does not require the similar path to be walked, only the desire/passion/investment to impart specifics to help someone improve…skill based.
What are the core mentoring skills?
Wisdom, questioning, listening
What are the core mentoring challenges?
Thanks for being concise!
If wisdom is defined as skill in a particular area, you’ve opened the door to mentoring to anyone who is good at something, can ask questions, and then listen.
Protege matching…I think the dynamics of finding proteges and mentors is very challenging. Someone should write about it.
Core mentoring skills and challenges?
In all honesty, I don’t feel like I have really “cracked the nut” of being an effective mentor in my current work environment. When I think of mentoring times that have worked well, it was mostly in my role as a trainer and on call supervisor for a crisis counseling hotline. The number one factor for me being able to effectively share was my confidence in myself as a crisis counselor – I felt like I knew it (info and processes) backwards and forwards, and that helped me feel confident in the info I gave and the feedback I shared with the volunteer counselors. I suppose “confidence in the material” isn’t a skill but I do believe it is a factor. Another skill is the ability to understand the learning style of the mentee and adapt to it.
Challenges? In my work situation, I suppose much of it boils down to time — if there is not an emphasis on mentoring as a priority, it easily gets pushed to the back burner in the wake of “fires to put out.”
Good post, Dan, and I look forward to learning from the other LF community comments.
Mentor and mentee are sometimes interchangeable. The mentor may have specialized knowledge and skills that the mentee does not, while on the other hand the mentee often has skills and talents that the mentor does not. If a mentoring relationship is not a two-way relationship, then one of the participants is not “doing it right.”
A caution to mentors and mentees alike: it is sometimes tempting to presume knowledge and skills of a mentor are much greater than that of the mentee; conversely, it is tempting to see a mentee as a subordinate or somehow unequal individual. It is important to understand that the relationship has to be equal and that each party must take part in the experience. Otherwise, it’s a lecturing session or a “counseling” session. Then the sharing of skills and the raising of both parties’ knowledge and experience will be much more fulfilling.
And lastly, it is indeed acceptable to “fire” a mentor or a mentee if the fit turns out not to be good. Just be sure to give it time before chucking the other party, as sometimes it takes a while to become comfortable.
Mentoring is quite an essential skill of any successful leader in winning the confidence of fellow colleagues and building the winning team. It’s time consuming exercise but to be taken as an investment to change people’s attitude and their approach towards handling several tasks.
It’s primarily a confidence building exercise and showing the path of success. It requires good trust on both sides and motivation becomes a dependable tool for a paradigm shift,
Monitoring progress after the necessary preliminary mentoring plan. A Mentor is required to invest his time and focused efforts with an individuality approach. Things really work well if mentoring is attempted with high degree of sincerity and commitment level by a mentor.
I think the core mentoring skills are KBD; Knowing, being and doing. Mentor should know the mentee in terms of his needs,goals, strengths and weaknesses. Secondly, mentor should posses all those qualities that require him for mentoring. Third is doing, it means mentor has to act to train, coach or educate mentee. I also believe that other core skills for mentoring is PPP; purpose, person and process. Mentor should know the purpose of mentoring, why he wants to menor someone, what is the philosophy behind it and what would be the expected end result. Mentor should know whom he wants to mentor. He should know the person in person, his nature, characterstics, behaviour, habit and attitude etc. Mentor should know what process or method he is going to use for mentoring. Whether it is online, offline, regular basis or whatever it is. So, all the three Ps should be aligned to mentor the mentee.
The same elements if missing are the core challenges for mentoring.
And perhaps the most important attribute for mentoring is persistance, perseverance and patience. Other factors that are equally important are humility, agility,resilience and tenacity.
More efforts and less expectation probably help mentor to make the process more effective and productive.
I like your title of multiplying your value – through mentoring.
Here’s a chart I developed based on Alan Weiss’ book “Money Talks”
I use it to help employees and the unemployed understand they provided tremendous value and bring that to their next workplace through their specialized process knowledge. Without them, results could not be achieved.
As a result of this chart I have heard tremendous stories from people who finally understand the multimillion dollar value of their accomplishments.
Thank you for this post. I have recently started a mentoring relationship and these are helpful tips. I can definitely take away the importance of having a good start AND finish and pouring into your mentor beyond your own limitations.
I look forward to hearing more. I hope you’ll stop in from time to time and join other conversations.
I think for a mentor – at least for those with not too much experience – it can be tempting to shape someone as his duplicate rather than helping him grow by himself. However, it can be a challenge with positive results for both the people involved. Is mentorship supposed to be a one-way growing process?
Timelines, incremental milestones, and accountability enable follow-up and follow-through….AND seriously fun celebration of the milestones of course. That generates increased energy, investment and ‘big picture’ visioning.
Ka Ching… How could I forget “seriously fun celebrations?”