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Reflection has become a huge part of my daily routine. I am always challenging myself to answer the questions, “what went well, what didn’t go well and what will I do differently next time to ensure a different outcome?” I was recently reminded of Jim Collins book, “Good to Great” and how I was seeing some similarities with my mentoring journey. I wanted to share some of my thoughts in that regard.

There are a lot of good people in the world that we live in today. There are some that are challenging and some that I struggle to define despite all the time I spend watching people. When I gaze into my mentoring crystal ball I see mentors, good mentors and then great mentors. Let me share my thoughts on each.

There are a lot of people that are giving it their best shot as a mentor and to them we say thank you. I have heard some stories where young professionals have been turned off of the power of mentoring largely due to a mentor that was not committed to the process or a mentor program that was designed poorly. Someone who is acting as a mentor is likely someone that would benefit from some mentoring themselves and would also benefit from some form of training. I want to elaborate on the training later. When I think back to when I started my journey I am thankful that I was able to get some training – a lot of which was “on the job” and later supplemented with classroom training. It drew me in to the mentoring process and helped me see the value that mentoring can bring. It certainly helped me from a family, community and work place perspective.

There is a growing number of people that have progressed to what I would call a good mentor. They have honed some of their skills over time, participated in some formal training, done some of their own research and continually learn with each mentoring experience. They have a growing list of people that want to spend time with them in a mentoring relationship. They are committed to the process and are believers in the power of mentoring and the value it brings to people and organizations. Good mentors may work with entrepreneurs, may be involved in work place mentoring movements, may do some mentor consulting and are likely mentoring a number of people due to the demand for their services.

Finally we look at the “great mentor”. This would be someone that is continuous learning through each and every mentoring session that they have. They have and continue to take formal training that provides them with insight into where the mentoring process is going. They may be educators of the mentoring process and may mentor the mentor to help them learn and grow as part of their journey. They will be the type of mentor that works with people from a very senior level (Presidents and VPs) to entrepreneurs and employees that are wanting to aspire to higher levels within an organization. “Great mentors” are great listeners and are skilled in asking the right questions to make you think. They are excellent communicators. They see having industry specific knowledge as a “nice to have” and not a “need to have”. Their lack of industry knowledge helps them build a stronger mentoring relationship through the questioning technique. “Great mentors” are constantly in demand and mentoring has become a way of life for them. They have a unique ability to read people and are very adept at creating that safe environment to have those meaningful conversations.

I have provided a couple of links where you can check out the aspect of mentor education and certification. It will provide you with a deeper, richer mentoring experience, one that you can share with those you mentor. Enjoy “The Gift of Mentoring.”

1. https://amzn.to/2KzlfJh
2. https://wellthmovement.com/mentor
3. https://wellthmovement.com/mentoring