Saturday, January 26, 2013

Getting Actively Involved in National Mentoring Month – and Beyond

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By Terry Orr

I grew up where mentoring and helping others was a daily occurrence throughout my naval and consultant careers. It is the right thing to do! It is helping others to help themselves and others. Paying it forward!
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There are many organizations, companies, communities and individuals actively participating and making a difference each and every hour of the day.
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“…the gap between the number of mentors and the number of young people who need a mentor continues to grow.  Today, 15 million young people need a caring adult mentor in their lives.” (National Mentoring Month 2013 Press Release)
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After reviewing several sites in research for this article, I believe these ten tips are sound and solid best practices, in any environment.
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Top 10 tips to help you be the best mentor (from Management Mentors):
1.    Listen more often than you speak.
2.    Approach challenges with a positive attitude when strategizing with your mentee in finding solutions.
3.    Be consistent in terms of having contact with your mentoree
4.    Tell the truth. Having an honest exchange about an issue will help build trust in the relationship.
5.    Be objective as much as possible. Your mentoree's perspective in only one viewpoint; so present other views when possible.
6.    Affirm your mentoree when they accomplish something or arrive at a new perspective.
7.    Ask permission when needing to share feedback that may be difficult for the mentoree to hear. This is a gentle way of preparing the mentoree.  If the mentoree opts not to have you share the feedback that is their choice.
8.    Engage the whole person. It's not just about how a mentoree thinks, but also how they feel.
9.    Let them grow and let them go. Be ready to let the person move away from you when the time comes. It's a sign of independence as a result of the work you've done with them.
10. Enjoy the relationship and you will gain as much as you give.
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I personally believe we all have something to share with others and should seek an opportunity to help others.
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References and Links:

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