Effectiveness as a mentor is directly related to the intentionality with which a leader approaches the relationship. Clearly navigating the path with the one being mentored enables the leader to extend their influence beyond what they may fully realize years later.
The leader may not walk through all of the mentoring phases in every relationship. Sometimes it is only for a season in one stage of a mentoring situation. Take advantage of the opportunities to invest in others, even if it is only for a short period of time. Regardless of your journey as a mentor, remember to optimize your time together with focused attention and listening.
A simple framework for the cycle of mentoring:
Be in front and set the example.
- Doing the work that needs to be done, while the other person is watching
- Describing the way the activities are performed
Walk alongside and provide explanation.
- Assigning tasks that support the objective
- Collaborating on larger activities
Step behind and offer support.
- Providing guidance and being used as a sounding board
- Challenging and encouraging replication by stepping into a mentoring role
I am so blessed to have the privilege of being the father of two wonderful boys – a very special mentoring relationship.
Who are you investing in? How much time do you spend with others in a mentoring situation? What is one area of mentoring you commit to spending more time in more intentional conversations?