For the most part of my life I have been a mentor to scores of people from different back grounds. The results varied from excellent to total disasters. In instances it was simply awesome and at times the mentoring process was painful. It is common for emotions to get heated up in a negative way.
If you are going to be e mentor, you have to be prepared to lose your time and your goods to mentees. In many times you will be scolded by them. Some of them later apologize but at times it was too late to salvage the relationship. Once negative words are spoken they cannot be reverse.
Mentoring is about shaping and moulding. It is done by a more experienced person. Mentoring is practical. You can’t mentor 100 people at once effectively. Mentoring someone is like parenting.
It is assumed that the mentee always follow the mentor. However in many cases it is the mentor who had to pursue the mentee.
Mentoring is not announced or officiated. A few people approach me and say ‘can you please be my mentor?’ I always say yes. However the mentoring would not work. It’s the spontaneous mentoring relationships that usually succeed. The best mentorship is a lot to do with a relationship not as a duty. And you cannot fast track a relationship.
I always try to mentor a person into his calling and gifting. So the idea is not to produce a mini-me. It is to discover and develop ones potential.
Although it is difficult I avoid building relationships in unnecessary areas so that we keep focused. We are not friends, perhaps not yet. My mentorship style is discipleship in nature. This set clear boundaries for me and prevents us from drifting off course.
Many mentees have a lot of baggage that tend to block their view. From their baggage comes negative emotions and poor reaction to situations.
Jesus had Judas as one of his disciple. So you will have a bad mentee, someone who will give you a headache and damage you and your reputation. You will come to a point of making a decision to scale down or cut off the process. You can even choose to continue knowing the likely negative outcome just like Jesus did.
There are different types of mentors based on their strengths. There is the coach, the connector, the cheerleader or the challenger. I am mainly a coach and cheerleader.
(To be continued in Challenges in Mentoring – Part 2)
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