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Mentoring that Matters – Part II

Description

This video delves into the realm of mentoring, focusing on personal development skills and capabilities crucial for effective mentorship. Borrowing insights from Robert Kirchhoff, the author emphasizes core mentoring skills such as empathy, respect, and the ability to build on strengths. The importance of authenticity, congruence, and self-disclosure in the mentor-mentee relationship is highlighted. Additionally, the video explores essential mentoring capabilities, including deep listening, diagnostic skills, and the art of asking incisive questions. The narrative underscores the mentor’s role in guiding mentees towards a ‘sweet spot,’ balancing individual needs, others’ needs, and organizational mission. Practical scenarios challenge mentors to navigate real-world situations, fostering a holistic approach to mentoring.

Video Transcript

Mentoring that matters. This is part two. This is on skills and capabilities. If you haven’t seen part one on roles, make sure to watch it fairly soon. What are the core mentoring skills? I’m borrowing these from Robert Kirchhoff. Years ago, he did some work on helping relationships, and as I looked at that, I was deeply trained in those back in the day. I practiced them as a therapist, and I think they can be reframed to make a great checklist for mentors. Empathy. This is the ability to walk in the mentee’s shoes, to really understand the world of that junior person that you’re working with respect. Can you see your mentee? Can you see the mentee as a whole, a whole person, and as okay, basically, okay, right now, like they don’t need to be fixed? It’s really tough. If you see the mentee as somebody that’s psychologically or, you know, in trouble, always build on strengths. If you can build on strengths, respect them enough to tell them the truth. I don’t think you should have done that. Don’t be nice. Don’t be kind. That shows a lack of respect, actually being nice to someone. You want to be real. That’s the key thing. Congruent. You want to practice what you preach. If you’re the mentor and you’re talking to them about honesty and straight talk, boy, you need to be walking that talk. Otherwise, it’s going to come across as kind of phony, genuine, be real in the moment. Treat the mentee and treat your time with the mentee as an opportunity for two human beings to be as real as possible with each other.

While you’re in this relationship self-disclosure. If you’re the mentor, reveal a little bit about who you are. If you’ve struggled, reveal that. Be real. That’s a part of being real. Self-disclosure, man, I had that same problem. You know, this is what happened. Confrontation. This is about confronting the mentee with differences where, you know, you say that you want to get along with this with your manager. But what I’m hearing is this. Or you say X, but I’m seeing Y anywhere that you experience a little bit of a disconnect in something that the mentee is doing. And then finally what’s called immediacy. Moving from there and then to here and now. Like let’s say that your mentee has an issue with it turns out that they don’t like the way their boss is being too authoritarian. You would say, how is that happening now between us in this relationship? So how is something that you’re talking about there? And then how is that happening now in the here and now? Very, very powerful. So if you’re a mentor, be listening for what when they’re talking about other people and other relationships, be listening for and asking about, well, how is that happening between us? In what way is that present here? Very powerful. Now, what are the mentoring capabilities that you just absolutely have to master? One is deep listening. Not just listening for content, but listening from the head and from the heart to the person and to the content. What they’re talking about, the diagnostic skills.

This is very important. It’s what I call the sweet spot. Here’s how it works. These are three pulls that exist on everybody at work, which creates hard choices and a lot of tension. There’s what the individual needs. That’s my needs. That’s what the other person needs, their needs. And that’s what the mission of the organization needs. These three are pulling and pulling and pulling on the person. You need to help the mentee figure out which way do they need to lean a little more consciously in order to bring themselves into the sweet spot where what they’re doing, where the decisions that they’re making are nurturing them, contributing to other people, and in alignment with the mission. The other one is incisive questions. You need to learn how to ask really, really good questions. What do you think? How do you see it? Not just offering your advice, but teaching the mentee how to think by asking really, really good questions. Straight talk, authentic presence, the courage to be real. Allowing the mentee to struggle a little bit. Don’t just spoon feed them, but let them wrestle. Let them. Let them get to their conclusions. Sometimes it’s really a powerful thing to do and what I call passionate non-attachment. Can you be passionate about helping this young man or young woman but not attached, meaning, you know, if they mess it up, it’s just part of the process. Pay attention to the process and see what happens. Here’s a practice situation to think about. Let’s say that the mentoring relationship is going well and your mentee is responding to you, but in a casual conversation between your mentees.

Boss. And a colleague. You overhear them joking about some performance issue with the mentee. What do you do about that? What do you do? You bring it up with your mentee. This is a really great point. How would you handle that? Here’s another practice situation. You’ve had two great meetings with your mentee. However, you haven’t heard from him or her for quite a while. You want them to be responsive. What do you do? How do you handle that situation? Practice situation number three. Your mentor has been attentive, paying attention, but you have a feeling they’re not really invested and they’re just going through the motions because HR said they should do it, or their boss said they should do it. It’s as if they only want to show you their best side, to create a kind of an avatar and manage your opinion. What do you do? Think about these three situations and use them for practice. Each of these three kind of situations is likely to happen in any mentoring relationship at some time. So I urge you to take each of the three. If you’re in a course or a classroom, talk about this with each other. If you’re watching this privately, give each of these a think. Because the way you respond, you want to think into the future. What will be contributing maximally to the mentee’s development? It’s all about your commitment to the mentee. What’s my solution now? What do I do next that would contribute most powerfully to the mentee’s development?

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