I am asked on numerous occasions to respond to questions regarding mentoring, mentoring process and how mentoring can bring value to individuals and/or organizations. Here are some of those questions and my responses.
Q: After working with a client, as a life coach what is your next step if any, if they seem to be where they need to be after you've helped them change?
A: I can answer this from a mentoring approach.
If they seem to be where they need to be I would want to make sure that it was the client that reached that conclusion. I view the mentoring process as having three phases: 1) Trusting phase, 2) learning and development phase, and 3) maintenance phase. In the example you have given, I would be inclined to place them in the maintenance phase. We would still touch base periodically but it would not be as frequent as what we would be doing in the learning and development phase. We can always move the relationship back into the learning and development phase if the need arises.
Q: When and how did you discover what you wanted to do with your life?
A: I was always a person that wanted to assist others. I think that I finally realized what I wanted to do about 10 years ago. I launched my own company that is focused on mentoring and mentor certification which is something that I am extremely passionate about. I provide a number of mentoring services for people and organizations and that is what makes me want to get out of bed ever morning. To be of service and share the Gift of Mentoring is my calling!
Q: What are some wonderful stories from reverse mentorship -- a younger person mentoring an older person?
A: I do not use the term “reverse mentoring” as the definition of reverse means to go backwards. I do not want any of my mentoring experiences to be viewed as stepping backwards.
I look at the definition of mentoring as a two way trusted relationship where both the mentor and mentee will learn and grow personally and professionally.
There is no mention of age in this definition.
When I go back over the list of people that I am working with age has not been a factor in any of the relationships. We always discuss the outcomes of our discussions and we both come away with something from the time we have spent together.
Reverse mentoring is actually “effective mentoring.”
Q: Are great leaders better at asking questions or giving answers?
A: The ideal great leader is one that is very adept at asking the right questions to stimulate critical thinking in those they work with.
If you continually give the answers then you become a crutch that people will come to as it is easier to ask for the answer than to think your way through the situation.
I worked with a leader in a mentoring relationship who didn’t realize the impact on their productivity by continually providing the answer to the same question repeatedly. When they took the time to sit the employee down and work through possible options to the problem they had more time to work on their tasks and they had a more engaged work force. Engaged and empowered.
Q: What qualities does a good mentor have?
A: There are a number of qualities that a good mentor should have. I usually recommend that you be an effective communicator - listen and hear, knows when to listen and when to guide, creates a safe environment for a mentoring conversation, builds a trusted relationship. They are also caring and understand that each person they spend time with in a mentoring relationship is unique so you need to tailor how you mentor to meet the needs of each person. They would have a supporting network that they can refer you to when it is something out of their comfort zone (professional counseling, etc.). Here are some additional characteristics: Passionate, Genuine, Humble, Caring, Great Communicator, Great Listener, Socratic Method, Competent, Committed and Dedicated.
A: The type of mentor that you are looking at would most definitely be someone that you had a long standing relationship with. I have some of those mentors in my life that work with me on a personal and professional basis.
Setting aside what I just wrote if you were to be looking for a dollar value to attach to lifetime access you would likely be paying for their time on an hourly basis or a block of time. I offer either one.
I would take a step back and clearly define what you are looking for and be open to the idea that lifetime access may not be the best solution for you.
Q: How can you develop leadership skills as a young professional?
A: I would strongly recommend finding a good mentor that can work with you to develop the leadership skills that you desire.
I am working with a number of people at various stages in their career to either enhance the skills they have or to develop and nurture leadership skills as needed. The mentoring approach has been working great for them. We work on their critical thinking skills as well as the basic fundamentals of being a good leader.
I encourage you to think about finding a good mentor to work with you.
Q: Would you ever consider mentoring someone who is older and going through a period of transition?
A: Yes. Effective mentoring is not tied to the question of age. Mentoring is a two way trusted relationship where both the mentor and mentee will learn and grow on a personal and professional basis. It doesn’t matter if one person is older than the other.
The thing to remember in the situation that you have presented is that the mentor doesn’t need to have all the answers. What they do need to have is the ability to ask the right questions to nurture the critical thinking process. The other key thing is that the mentor will likely have a good network that they can access to assist in addressing this situation.
Q: What would personally motivate you to act as a mentor?
A: What continues to motivate me is the opportunity to be of service to others. It is most rewarding to watch someone grow on a personal and professional basis when you are on a mentoring journey with them.
What motivates me to act as a mentor is the opportunity to learn and grow personally and professionally myself. With each mentoring relationship/arrangement I learn so much about others and about myself.
Doug Lawrence is an extraordinary mentor and mentor certification trainer with TalentC and is the International Mentoring Community Director of Education.
Doug shows organizations how mentoring programs will influence a happy workforce culture (mentors), improve employee productivity (mentees), reducing costly employee high turnover (onboarding), improves the bottom line (organizations), which saves 150% to 200% of the annual salary of each departing employee. He provides one-on-one direct mentoring for individuals and groups, all backgrounds and industries locally and internationally.
Doug is an International Certified Mentor Practitioner (ICMP), an International Certified Mentor Facilitator (ICMF), and has obtained his Certificate of Achievement – Mentoring and his Certificate of Competence – Mentor from the International Mentoring Community (IMC).
Doug is recognized as a “Most viewed writer in the Business Mentoring and Mentors and Mentoring categories on the Quora website (www.quora.com).
An international speaker and author of The Gift of Mentoring (2014), Doug’s second book is set to publish in late 2019.
Do you have a workplace crisis or issue to resolve? Schedule a time to meet with Doug: https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence