Without action, results don’t just materialize. We understand this all too well, and that’s why we tend to be primarily action-focused. A mentoring challenge may arise and our instinct is to switch to solution mode. How do you fix this? The general pattern goes like this: the challenge within the mentoring relationship presents itself, we find a solution, implement it, and of course correct – if required.
However, at our recent SAGE Mentor Think Tank in Vancouver, I was reminded of the importance of a missing step in this process.
Becoming conscious of an unconscious process
Here is an excerpt from one of the cases we considered at the SAGE Mentor Think Tank:
“Five months have passed since Tatiana’s grand opening, and there is less traffic to her boutique than she expected. She has consistently missed her sales goals and the business is in jeopardy of closing. With each passing week, Tatiana’s enthusiasm for the business wanes.
Mohammad, Tatiana’s mentor, is finding it difficult to connect with his entrepreneur. Tatiana cancelled the last two mentoring meetings on short notice; she has not returned his phone calls, and email communications are rare and short. He’s aware of her challenges, and although marketing is not his expertise, he is certain they can work through her challenges – provided they maintain contact.”
Below is a list of assumptions mentors made about this situation:
Mentors made different assumptions based on their experiences, beliefs, and values, and proposed next steps based on these assumptions.
Questions for consideration
Recommendations for next steps
Resist the urge to react to a mentoring challenge and consider taking the time to make conscious the assumptions on which we base our mentoring ‘next steps.’
By Linda Morana, CYBF Mentor-in-Residence, firstname.lastname@example.org