Weekly Thought – December 31, 2013
Fred spent every January 1st in the office reviewing and assessing the past year and setting goals for the next. Even though his nature was strongly creative, he enjoyed a bold analytical capability. This combination allowed him to approach any topic subjectively and objectively.
As 2014 begins, we thank you. The Apostle Paul constantly gave thanks to those who formed his community. May 2014 bring wisdom, enthusiasm, and awareness.
Counsel to Mentorees
Having been mentored for years and now serving as mentor, here are some observations I hope are helpful.
- Have your mentor to help you learn to ask the right questions, search in the right places, and stay interested in the right answers. “Ask a question the other person wants to answer” is my response to all those who probe this area. There is an art and science of questioning.
- Decide what degree of excellence you want to attain. The object of mentoring isn’t perfection, but progress. Only a few can be truly excellent, but all can be better…begin with better.
- Assume a subordinate learning position. Few people can be humble enough to accept concentrated mentoring. They let their ego get in the way and begin competing to impress the mentor.
- Respect the mentor, don’t idolize. The relationship is created to enable growth, not to establish hero worship. When a mentor is placed on a pedestal it is often for the mentoree to claim affiliation.
- Immediately take action on learnings. Generally, we aren’t serious about information which we don’t plan to implement shortly. College administrators find course information which won’t be used for several years rarely generate intense interest.
- Focus intensely on a narrow field – learn, practice, and assimilate.
- Set up a discipline for relating to the mentor. Ample and consistent time schedules, homework, and attention to subject matter allows the relationship to be profitable.
- Reward your mentor with accomplishment and appreciation. Offer progress before appreciation. If there is no headway, then the appreciation is empty.
- Demonstrate thinking time between sessions.
- Never threaten to give up. Let the mentor know you are serious about commitment to progress. Show the mentor you are determined to grow and will stick with it.
This week think about: 1) Which observation helped me the most? 2) How can I mentor with greater effectiveness? 3) Who models clear mentoring for me?
Words of Wisdom: “Only a few can be truly excellent, but all can be better…begin with better.”
Wisdom from the Word: “So be sure to do them, because this will testify of your wise understanding to the people who will learn of all these statutes and say, “Indeed, this great nation is a very wise people.” (Deuteronomy 4:6 NET Bible)